Swimming and Diving

Emma Chang, Staff Writer

After sweeping the South Zone Championship on Jan. 29, the swimming and diving team had high hopes to place in SPC, which took place on Feb. 10. The boys succeeded in winning the championship, and the girls finished runner up. 

This year, due to venue and pool availability, SPC coordinators held the preliminary final on the same day as the SPC meet. Normally, the prelim finals and SPC span two days, with the prelims on Friday and SPC on Saturday.

“These circumstances were not ideal and made for an extremely long day,” head swimming coach Ron Raper said. “We were dealing with about 400 swimmers at SPC, so we needed a pool that could handle that load.”

This situation presented numerous logistical issues such as transportation, food and housing while the teams stayed in Arlington.

Throughout the season, the Mavs swam against public schools that do not participate in SPC. Senior captain Ella Flowers attributed most of the challenge prior to SPC to those public schools because they have a larger team than that of St. John’s; the extra competition ultimately helped the swim teams compete in the conference meet.

“Sometimes the competition isn’t as much as speed as it is just the pure numbers in depth that the other teams have,” she said.

Despite swimming and diving being an individual sport, the swimmers have built a team culture. Through pep-talks and individual encouragement, Raper made sure that everyone competed as a team, rather than swimming for themselves.

“We’re really focused on having fun and trying to build as a team, especially since last year the teams were split up most of the season due to Covid protocols,” Flowers said.

Although the team will lose ten seniors after the season, Raper believes that the Mavs will continue to dominate.

“We have a lot of strong underclassmen and middle school swimmers at St. John’s and had a good turnout at the admissions open house,” he said. “That’s a good outlook for our upper school team. We will be  strong for the next few years.”