Swim and Dive
National Spring Preview Series Admin
Thu, February 15, 2024 at 15:36 PM
The Long Beach Poly High School swim team is gearing up for an exciting season filled with talent, dedication, and camaraderie. As Coach Kalani Caldwell explains, the team's focus on best times and the goal of winning Moore League will drive their performance. With communication, dedication, and a strong emphasis on having fun, the team is setting the bar high for themselves this year. One of the team's top returners is senior Sofia Brys, who has been a leader both in and out of the water. She is joined by junior Belle Puckett, both of whom swim year-round at a local club and have their sights set on competing in college. Puckett and Brys will serve as the team's leaders, motivating their teammates and striving for success in every race. But the team also has a rising star in freshman Phoebe Kuo, who Coach Caldwell believes will make an immediate impact on the team. Kuo is a versatile swimmer, excelling in breaststroke and individual medley events. Her addition to the team's medley relay will strengthen their chances of winning the league and qualifying for CIF. In addition to their top swimmers, the team also has a strong leadership dynamic with their captains. According to Coach Caldwell, they lead naturally and are willing to go above and beyond in supporting their teammates. Sofia Brys is expected to step into the role of captain this year, a testament to her growth as a leader and athlete. Coach Caldwell emphasizes that being the fastest on the team does not automatically make someone captain material, but it is the qualities of dedication, teamwork, and guidance that make a true leader. To kick off the season, the team participates in a Varsity Retreat focused on team building and creating a supportive and trusting environment. They also have carbo dinners before meets, where they come together as a team and participate in team activities. Each practice begins with a team meeting to discuss goals and celebrate achievements, not only in swimming but also in non-sport accomplishments like getting a driver's license or getting accepted into college. Coach Caldwell considers herself lucky to have a team that brings a strong work ethic every day, making her job much easier. The team focuses on swimming fast and aiming for personal bests, rather than worrying about things they cannot control. This mindset helps them stay focused and motivated throughout the season. However, the team does face challenges from the water polo season, which happens right before swim season.