Swimmers become Winners with Progress and Success

Junior+Kevyn+Collazo-Torres+has+contributed+to+the+varsity+swim+teams+continued+success.+During+practice%2C+he+swims+the+butterfly+stroke+in+preparation+for+the+state+meet.+

Ella Craghill

Junior Kevyn Collazo-Torres has contributed to the varsity swim team’s continued success. During practice, he swims the butterfly stroke in preparation for the state meet.

Fay Zhao, Intro Writer

   The swim team cheered loudly for their teammates as the swimmer propelled forward and touched the wall for yet another win for the team. 

   The varsity swim team ended another successful season by winning both the Citrus League Championship on Oct. 8 and districts on Oct. 18. In districts, the boys won all 15 events, scoring 697 points, almost twice as many as the second place team, and the girls won all events except three, scoring 575 points. At regionals on Oct. 26, the boys were runner-up and the girls placed fourth. The team then went to states on Nov. 5, where the boys placed fifth and the girls 15th. 

   The swim team is led by long-time Varsity Head Coach Rocco Aceto, who has been at Trinity since 2005. His expertise helped the swimmers to reach their full potential. 

   “He sees the potential in everyone and knows how good you can be and helps push you to be that good,” senior Sara Stricklin said. 

   With the help of Aceto, many swimmers did well this season, including Stricklin, who won most of her events in districts. Many swimmers dropped time in their events, including Sophomore Dylan Smith who improved in the 200 free and 100 fly. Seniors Dylan Reher and Andrew Foley and Juniors Kevyn Collazo-Torres and Trevor Beuttgen also broke the school record in the boys’ 200 medley relay at the region meet and finished third at the state championship this season. 

   Due to COVID-19, there were only six dual meets, which is fewer than usual. However, the team had more practices than last year, so they had more time to improve.

   “We’ve had a lot of training,” Stricklin said. “We’ve gone back to our normal schedule, which is really nice, so we had three mornings a week, and then six practices Monday through Saturday, and we’ve gotten a lot better, a lot faster.” 

  Many younger members of the team improved as well, including sixth grader Chloe Anders. They improved significantly with the help of coaches and older members of the team. 

   “The team is really young this year,” Stricklin said. “So I’m really excited to see how they grow in the future. I like being a leader for them like a role model. I try to inspire them and try to encourage them. Even when we are not having such a great time, I always try to push them.”

   The team developed many friendships through all the hard work and training. Many team members attribute their success to the close bonds they have with one another.

   “The best part about swimming is definitely hanging around the community and your friends,” Smith said. “Just getting better with them because every single time that we get in the pool, we’re always getting better together.” 

   Part of building a strong team is bonding over fun traditions. There are many traditions including having shave parties, where the boys shave off their hair or bleach it, and doing the cupid shuffle at a dance party beside the pool before meets. A newer tradition that was recently created was the “bling bing” award, where swimmers who swam well in their events are honored with a huge golden necklace to put around their neck. Another tradition is making cheers. 

   “Before relays we say, ‘Let’s go, Big Blue! Let’s go,’” Anders said. “We would say that three times, and then sometimes, before the meet starts, we’ll cheer or just play some music to get us hyped up.” 

   Along with keeping a fun atmosphere, Aceto also wants his swimmers to give effort and be focused. 

   “Every day is a new challenge,” Aceto said. “I [don’t] think it’s humanly impossible to give a 10 every day. I just don’t think that’s realistic. But if your day is a six, I want to see the six. So it’s really that effort that is what I’m getting at.” 

   Looking forward, Aceto’s goal is to sustain the swim team’s level of success and continue the legacy. 

   “I’m just trying to continue the great tradition here in the program for somebody that wants to do what I’ve done and what people prior to me have done,” Aceto said. “We’ve broken national records, we’ve had all-Americans, now it’s just sustainability.”