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The Growl

The Growl

What it means to be a captain of the South Hills swim team

South Hills swim captains pose for a photo after the meet against Rowland Heights.

This year, the South Hills swim team had five captains: Jonathan Nguyen (12), Adrian Barrios (12), Juliana Sarmiento (12), Kairi Tran (12) and Aleksandra Mocabee (12). Even though each of these captains had their own stories and goals, they all agreed that a successful team must obtain traits such as commitment, communication, improvement, motivation, and a positive environment which will ultimately accomplish their main goal- going to CIF.

Jonathan Nguyen (12) decided to join the swim team when he was a sophomore. Even though he has never swam competitively before, he still managed to be chosen by coach Peter Smiley.

“I believe that Coach Smiley chose me to become one of the captains because I love to motivate and inspire the people around me. I also love teaching or critiquing my teammate’s form to help them reach their full potential,” Nguyen said.

Adrian Barrios (12) began swimming when he was eight years old. Throughout his years of swimming, he has developed the knowledge of what it takes to be on a successful team.

“Key aspects to being a successful team is for each person to actively try to improve their form and conditioning,” Barrios said.

Juliana Sarmiento (12) has been swimming since she was four years old. Coach Smiley chose Sarmiento for her extreme passion and dedication towards swim. Even while recovering from an injury, she still supported her teammates on the sideline by cheering them on to victory.

“I am extremely determined, motivated, and hardworking. Coach Smiley has watched me overcome obstacles and knows that I can prevail through them. While I was injured last year, I continued to support my team by attending every swim meet and cheering on my teammates ,” Sarmiento said.

Kairi Tran (12) who has been swimming for six years put aside her own personal glory and tried to help the team by sharing her personal experiences.

“I love sharing the knowledge I’ve picked up from my experiences with swimming. It’s beneficial for both my teammates and I because I am able to provide them with techniques and information I wish I knew earlier on. I feel happy knowing that I’ve helped better an individual’s ability and hopefully allowed them to gain a love for swim,” Tran said.

Swimming is not just only for supportive motives, but also takes huge determination and work ethic which Aleksandra Mocabee (12) strived to improve every day. “I have years of experience with swimming, that comes with knowledge about difficulty level and how to push through mental boundaries. I believe I work hard and always try to swim and train my best no matter how I feel that day. I attempt to set a good example of how determination and work ethic should be,” Mocabee said.

Before these five captains finish their last season and leave for college, they wanted to see their team succeed while passing as much knowledge they could onto the rest of the team. In the end, no matter the outcome, they wanted everyone to feel like the swim team was their second home, and cherish the memories they made with one another.

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About the Contributors
Jonathan Nguyen
Jonathan Nguyen, Staff Reporter
Hi, my name is Jonathan Nguyen. I’m currently a senior here at South Hills High School. I have many things that I am passionate about like playing my guitar, playing video games, swimming, listening to music, and cooking. This is my first year of journalism, and I’m looking forward to the world of journalism.
Selene Nunez
Selene Nunez, Staff Reporter
Hi my name is Selene and this is my first year contributing to The Growl. I wanted to test my skills in writing and see how far I can take them. In my free time, I like to do something active, read the Bible, work, watch Netflix, and spend time with family and friends.
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