Swimming: Season begins with new coaches and diverse team


Karen Ma

Few other sports teams at MVHS have experienced the number of changes the swim team has had to face. With three different sets of coaches in the past four years and ceaseless adjustments to the training schedule, nothing has remained constant for the swimmers except one thing: their passion for swimming.

3/10/16 Swim Meet

Photos by Chetana Ramaiyer.

Last season, the team felt disorganized due to the lack of experience of former coach Cyrus Kahangi. This season, under the new leadership of head coach Troy Nissen and assistant coach Tyler Pickett, the team aims for the highest possible CCS placement for both genders, as well as possible qualification for the state meet that began just three years ago. The coaches also plan to make the season as enjoyable as it is rigorous.

“I want to make sure we start some great new traditions and bring back some old ones,” Nissen said. “Send our seniors out on a good note, getting ready for the future of MVHS swimming as well.”

As individuals, senior captains Justin Mo and Sara Ye hope to obtain personal best times in their strongest events. As captains, their goals are to provide support and effectively lead the team this season, with emphasis on hard work and sportsmanship.

“I hope that we can come together as a team and give our best effort at every meet,” Mo said. “We have two great new coaches and our team should treat them with the respect that they deserve.”

And though winning meets is important, Ye expresses that improving the dynamic and unity among the team is key.

“[Working] together as a team, getting more people cheering for each other,” Ye said. “Even though people think that swimming isn’t a team sport, I think it’s the most ‘team sport’ out there because you’re looking to improve yourself and support your teammates in their own events.”

This season, the team consists of those who have been swimming year-round since the age of five, those who are traditionally water polo players hoping to maintain their shape and improve their skill and those who had only recently joined the sport. Keeping these diverse levels in mind, Nissen intends to achieve the team’s goals by ensuring that everyone receives the appropriate training, as well as helping to rebuild the team culture from the years before.

Swimmers crowd around Troy Nissen, their new coach for the season. This year, the team hopes to improve skill-wise, as well as become more unified. Photo from Monta Vista Swimming/Diving Facebook group.

“Our big thing here is that we’re a team of individuals doing what they need to do to be the best that they can be for this team,” Nissen said. “And if everyone is doing their best, getting their strongest, learning their most, then we’re going to really do well together at dual meets, league champs, and CCS.”