By Eric Charbonnet @echarb10
Grab your flip-flops and goggles it’s time for another Las Positas Swim season. You might want to bring some sunglasses too because if the team is anything like last year, those in attendance are in for some fireworks.
Last year’s squad set numerous school records and carried lots of expectations.
“Different teams have different expectations,” coach Jason Craighead said. “ This is a very different group and we always have high expectations for all our swimmers on the team. We often have to hold them higher than they perceive themselves.”
Craighead thinks his swimmers are up for the task.
“I am always excited about the new swimmers and who will rise up and do something unexpected and great.”
Who is great may be a surprise, but greatness is definitely expected. That being said, Craighead doesn’t believe there to be any pressure for swimmers to be anyone other than themselves.
“I started out wanting to compare this year to last (the record setting year), but each season brings in a new group of swimmers with unique traits and abilities.”
Craighead’s only comparison is if they are progressing as a program each year, which entails a lot more than record setting times. That is most important to him. It is a process, and in the end, he feels the comparisons with other teams are made at Conference Championships and State Championships.
Leading The Hawks in their aquatic excursions this coming season will be some familiar faces who coach believes them to be not only a little bit wise, but totally prepared for what it takes to be competitive and successful.
Matt Lee, Anthony Jhong and Emil Graversen will look to steer the men while Alex Torrez, Paris Sinclair, and Claire Piazza will help out the women. Valentina Barbalinardo and Gabby Lemoine look to lead the divers as well.
While all great in their own right, it takes a team and joining the ranks this year are some freshmen that have Craighead and long time fellow coaches Loren Pearson and Monte Young excited.
New men in the pool to keep an eye on will be Lawrence Li, Ryan Eckles, Michael Eckles, Caleb Wagner and diver Jonny Stalie. The new women swimmers to watch will be Amaya Batiza and Gabby Perez Del Rio.
While such an influx of talent might cause problems with seasoned swimmers, that’s not the case for this squad.
“Cohesion is great this year,” Craighead said. “ We do activities in practice (pool and weight room) to increase team dynamics from the very beginning. Most of the team knows each other from somewhere in the aquatic community (water polo, high school, rec league, etc.)”
Great teamwork, former record setters and new faces will make up this season of Hawks swimming.
“I am excited for every meet,” Craighead said.