Trio prepares to swim last lap together


Logan Couture

Seniors Victor Liu, Jackson Ehlers and Lance Stern celebrate Senior Night on Sept. 19 at the Fee Avenue pool.

Izzy Rootsey, Staff Writer

When senior Lance Stern lost his swim goggles at Districts during his 100 meter freestyle last school year, senior teammates Jackson Ehlers and Victor Liu were the first to cheer him up.

The trio has been swimming together for four years, which strengthened their friendship more.

“Since we have been swimming together that long, our friendship has grown into something I believe will last a lifetime,” Stern said. “Getting to swim with my friends every day allows our relationship to get closer.”

Liu called their bond irreplaceable.

“Having teammates like this is crucial to my performance and my experience,” Liu said. “Not only is it much more enjoyable to have someone to laugh with, but their presence in the lane pushes me.”

Stern never swam in a lane with boys his age before swimming with Ehlers and Liu.

“When I got to swim with them, it allowed me to make connections I previously had not been able to experience,” Stern said. “These guys helped me grow while enjoying what I’m doing.”

Stern said the boys’ friendship strengthened when they were added in the same lane.

“We began to tell each other stories and learn about each other as people, not just teammates,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine swimming without these two because they keep me smiling at practice and meets.”

Ehlers said this friendship has made him a better swimmer.

“Swimming with Lance and Victor has tremendously improved my performance,” he said. “They push me to my limits, and motivate me.”

The boys encourage each other at every practice and race, according to Stern.

“Jackson and Victor push me every day to strive for my best in the pool,” Stern said. “Without their support, I would not be at the level that I am.”

Liu said younger swimmers look up to the trio because of their skill.

“We’ve put in countless hours of practicing and have become fast,” he said. “Our goal is to inspire the younger swimmers so they can enjoy practicing and becoming faster with their teammates.”

Stern agreed, saying their presence has set an example for the underclassman swimmers.

“Jackson, Victor, and I have shown that developing bonds with your teammates has immense benefits,” Stern said.

Ehlers said he does not plan to swim competitively in college.

“It would be too much of a commitment,” Ehlers said. “After high school, I’m going to be busy with classes.”

Stern said he is unsure if he will continue swimming competitively.

“I will continue swimming, even if that’s just on the club team at the college,” Stern said. “I have to consider my competitive offers and see if one seems right.”

Liu shared similar plans.

“Maybe not on their varsity team because they are on a different level,” Liu said, “but definitely on a club team to stay fit and meet new teammates to bond with.”

Liu said his experience with Stern and Ehlers has made a deep impression on him.

“I will miss Jackson and Lance a lot,” he said, “but I’m proud of what we have accomplished and grateful they are a part of my swim journey.”