BY KAYLA SOUSA & REBECA PEREIRA
State competition for swim were held at Boston University for all the swimmers who exceeded expectations on the local level during the winter swim season. From breaking school records to breaking personal records the swimmers are genuinely impressed with their team's performance as well as their own. After ending the season as the champions of the Greater Boston League, Malden High School’s swimmers were determined to make an impression.
MHS swimmers that swam at states include freshmen Haoxi Wang and Myo Theingi, sophomores Kevin Ochoa and Joanne Ho, juniors Pete Jinapin and Dylan Ha, and seniors Kevin Luu, Vivian Nguyen, and Felicia Lombardi.
Leading up to the state competition, the MHS swim team competed successfully in six meets, winning all of them and placing as GBL champs for the last time. Next season they will be entering the Northeastern Conference.
Swim coach Jessica Bisson commented that “[they] usually see [their] ‘top’ swimmers [make States] in most of the events, but it was really nice to see some new [fresh faces for States] this year.” Freshmen Haoxi Wang and Myo Theingi went to states. Wang says of his 1:40.21 record time in the 200 yard Medley that “it was a lifetime experience for me personally to break a school record as a freshman”.
Sophomore Kevin Ochoa placed 10th at states among 58 teams. He swam in the 200 free breaking the school record with a time of 1.50.71. Going into states, Ochoa explained how he was “very calm as [he] knew if [he] let anxiety build up [he] was going to underperform.” Kevin saw that prep schools like “Saint John's Prep, Westford Academy were among the toughest opponents considering Malden High has only 5 representatives and they easily outnumbered [them] by a large gap” However, Ochoa stated that “ [they] didn't let that get to [their] heads and instead used the underdog role as motivation to beat [their] opponents and make their city proud.” Ochoa also competed in states last year as a freshman.
Despite a victorious season, expectations of the swimmers were still high. Coach Bisson explained that “with Malden entering a new league next year [they] will have a lot of work ahead of [them] as it will be extremely important for everyone on the team to push themselves to try new events. [They] will need everyone from the most veteran to the newest swimmer to make sure [they] are competitive with all the new teams [they] will face next year.”
From a technical standpoint, there is always room for improvements but it doesn’t cancel out the pride MHS swimmers feel in their accomplishments so far. Senior captain Vivian Nguyen stated that she believes there is “no improvement needed. [They] performed great considering four girls made up the girls team and five boys made up the boys team” for states.
Nguyen explains that her last year differed mentally from her last few saying that “it’s sad to leave before [getting a chance to be in] the new league,” but the performances the swim team gave during the season and at states prove the team is ready to face the new league. She concluded that she’s extremely proud of the team because “the underclassmen and freshmen who qualified stepped up their game and helped us score.”
The girl’s team placed 8th out of 37 teams and the boy’s team placed 10th out of 40 teams. Senior Felicia Lombardi and junior Pete Jinapin also beat their personal records. Needless to say, the swim team’s state competition run was a success.