DHS swimmers compete together on club team

Sydney Hoover, Arts Editor

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As the winter sports season begins, junior Miles Arnold has high hopes for this years’ boys’ swim team. To prepare for the school season, Arnold trains with a competitive team outside of school.

“[I’ve swam with] Tiger Sharks for about three years,” Arnold said.

Several of the boys’ swimmers have competed together for the Tiger Sharks swim club out of Olathe before joining the DHS team.

“In Tennessee, I swam for [several teams], and then when we moved here, I swam for Tiger Sharks,” sophomore Jarod Blazo said.

Tiger Sharks is a year-round competitive swim club. As of August 4, 2014, Tiger Sharks has joined with the City of Olathe Lightning swim club as one team.

Being able to practice together year round on a competitive team has benefitted the boys immensely, according to sophomore Cameron Webb.

“If we do relays with the club team we can work together. We find out the best people [for each stroke],” Webb said.

The boys see this as an advantage to getting State qualifying times.

“I’m confident that our relay is going to do well, as well as [our] individual times,” Blazo said.

To their teammates, they are “the hardcore swimmers who swim year round. [They] love what they do,” senior Jake Chappell said.

Along with a competitive advantage, the boys believe swimming together outside of school makes the relationships throughout the team stronger.

“It’s really fun to be able to swim with people I’ve swam with before. We’re good friends … being able to have more time together [and] being on multiple teams together is really fun,” Webb said.

With the swim team still being fairly new to the district, the boys have noticed some significant growth in the team.

“We’ve gotten more swimmers in general over the years because we haven’t lost any swimmers yet. [We’ve also grown] in technique and power,” Blazo said.

The boys are looking for more State appearances this year.

“I’m hoping this year I will make a State time in the 100-yard back stroke by the second or third meet,” Blazo said.

Arnold is also hoping to go to state again this season for the 500-yard freestyle. The 500-free race is a long distance race that takes a lot of endurance and is strongly disliked by many swimmers. Last season, Miles set his personal record for the 500-free with a time of 5 minutes, 44 seconds.

With high hopes for State, the boys are looking forward to the rest of the season.