Swim and dive advance to regionals


Alannah Stewart

Junior William “Ronnie” Rickard competes at Indian River State College pool.

After qualifying at the district level, 18 swimmers and one diver will compete in the Region 2 Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at Lake Highland Preparatory in Orlando. The diving finals will begin at 1 p.m. and the swimming finals will begin at 4 p.m.

“To get ready, we cut practice times back, and we’re swimming at least 2,000 yards less,” junior Kayla Stevens said. “We’re focusing on quality rather than quantity.”

In addition, Stevens said she hopes a new swimsuit will give her an advantage.

“The suit is called a Fast Skin Elite, and it’s used in the Olympics,” Stevens said. “It’s made with a different material and is proven to cut one to two seconds off your time. Right now, I’m seeded as top 10, so I hope to exceed top 10 at regionals and go to top five.”

While all six of the swim team’s relays will compete, junior Kara Marin is the only diver who qualified for regionals.

“It’s a little scary because mainly all of my competitors are from private schools,” Marin said. “So many of them are part of great programs with great coaches. I just hope to do my best.”

Since the season is over for the other West Shore divers, Marin has been attending Satellite High School practices with her coach.

“Each dive has a difficulty level,” Marin said. “I am working on the more difficult dives at practice, and I hope to get more points that way.”

Seniors Elena Abascal, Rosalie Heninger, Hannah Schmidt, Kyle Landis, Erich Heinricher, juniors Emily Dubec-Hunter, Gabrielle Jefferson, Kara Marin, Jack Nevins, Chris Peterson, William Rickard, Kayla Stevens, sophomores Gillian Foster, Katy Johnson, Rebecca Castillo, freshman Ian Kennedy and eighth-graders Chloe Desantis, Shelby McKeever and Noah Stevens all are scheduled to compete in the meet.