The pressure is on this season for underclassmen in the South Pasadena High School swim program.
The team will focus its efforts on training newcomers for success in hopes of putting more athletes through to CIF finals. The start of swim season has seen an influx of new swimmers and plenty of potential.
Senior Jacob Mullin and sophomores Jaden Mullin and Kyra Angkasa have stepped up to take the place of last year’s strongest seniors including Aaron Ogita, Laura Mendenhall, Harry Kim, and Jocelyn Jo. This younger talent strives to uphold the team’s success in CIF playoffs for a third consecutive year.
“This season we definitely lost some good girl swimmers but I still think we can do well,” Angkasa said. “The boys have some good freshman. We really want to work on our new swimmers and JV to help them improve on dives and flip turns.”
Tryouts were as competitive as ever this year, and many hopefuls had to be cut. However, several new swimmers managed to impress coaches Ivan Serrano and Mike Lucero. Among these freshmen, Sarah Zenas, Tim Chiu, and Francisco Villegas stood out.
The team expects to be challenged, especially by El Toro, La Cañada, and San Marino.
Last season, San Marino won in the Rio Hondo League Finals while La Cañada barely beat the Tigers’ varsity boys. El Toro will be a new opponent for South Pas this year and boasts an impressive reputation. Despite the competition, the Tigers remain optimistic about their chances and continue to train with determination and intensity.
“We’ve been spending more time in the water than last year and [have] had harder practices,” Jaden Mullin said.
Competitors look forward to maintaining their record of excellence at the Rio Hondo League Finals and aim for success in CIF finals.
The Tigers will face Hoover High School on March 14 at 3:15 pm at the SPHS pool. On March 23, the teams will travel to Monrovia to compete against Monrovia High School at 3:15 pm. The Tigers will travel and face El Toro High School on Saturday March 25. Both the Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming Teams will compete against Blair, Temple City, La Canada, and San Marino in the coming weeks.