Season In Review: EPHS Swimming Continues Winning Tradition

Tigers Send 14 Swimmers To State Meet


Members of the El Paso High Swim Team celebrate inside the pool. Staff Photo

Daniela Ramirez, Reporter

It’s no secret that El Paso High School is home to one of the best swim teams in the city as 14 Tiger swimmers advanced to the 5-A Swim State Championships in Austin on Feb. 17 at the Texas Swim Center.

Members of the top ranked team in the district revealed what’s behind their long-held success. Those factors contribute to the team’s victories, most prominently, the self efficiency, teamwork, and determination exhibited by their 39 members.

Junior, Mohammad Abdeljaber, competing at the Lubbock Invitational. Photo by Victoria Garcia

Mutual cooperation is essential to any sports team’s success, but team members believe it’s especially crucial to them. This requires, not only a mutual understanding and love for the sport itself– but also for each other.

“There is one thing in my opinion, that makes this team so incredibly special– the bond. We are so close to one another,I even consider them my second family,” senior co-captain, Emani Brown said. “I consider our team to be the closest in the city, and truly believe that that’s what leads to all of our successes. The swimmers on the team are always putting in the extra mile, whether it be a two hour club practice after school, personal training, or an off season workout.”

High school sports contain a revolving door of athletes entering and exiting. Although upperclassmen– vital to the team– will soon graduate, they leave a parting gift, an admirable legacy for the remaining members to aspire to fulfill for years to come.

“I believe that every year the underclassmen have great role models to look up to, they motivate and push everyone to get better,” junior, Branson Baca said.

To perform at their highest ability, not only is the group required to work as a whole but also as individual athletes. Like a well-oiled machine, they must take care of themselves in order to stay in top shape.

“Not eating any sugar helps, I didn’t eat any sugar for two weeks before state,” junior, Becca Perez said. “I also ate a lot of carbs a few nights before, drank a lot of water, stretched often and kept my muscles loose. I think we all saw what our bodies could do at regionals and we just did the same thing for state so we could be just as successful.”

Although the focus is placed on an athlete’s physical abilities, it’s important to consider the mental aspect of the sport. This isn’t senior captain, Victoria Garcia’s first rodeo, who made her fourth-consecutive trip to state, and while she didn’t place this year, she still holds two state medals, including first place in 2014.

“I try to stay in my routine and get in the right mindset. I’m just looking forward to the experience, really. I don’t really like to anticipate anything because I’d rather see how things go, see how I feel when I’m there, and then try to go off of that,” said Garcia, “staying positive and not being too hard on yourself helps too.”

The group owes their triumph to their coaches, Dow Farley and Elizabeth Ighnat, who have been mentors to them on and off the sport.

“Coach Farley wouldn’t have it any other way. He is constantly pushing us, motivating us, and helping us become the very best version of ourselves and knows what we can do and who we can become,” Brown said. ”Coach Ighnat is also an essential element in composing such a successful team. She is always there for us emotionally.”

Freshman, Mackenzie Tovar, standing on the blocks moments before her race.
Photo by Victoria Garcia