By Ryan Menzie
Signal Staff Writer
The Castaic High School swim team made history by being the first team from the school to be represented in a CIF championship, and they did not disappoint.
The young team — comprised only of freshmen and sophomores — showed out for their school this past spring, finishing in third place in Division 4, and will look to run it back again next season to finish in the top two.
For Castaic head coach Cody Kennedy, the meet was stressful. However, he knew the kids had an amazing time. Kennedy believes they will be even stronger next season and hopes they can continue the winning tradition and get to CIF again.
“I think the most important thing is we set a good precedent for our people and we represented our school well. My swimmers did amazing,” said Kennedy. “The biggest message we had going into the season was to compete the best they could and have fun while they’re doing it. It was a gift that we even got a season and I wanted them to take advantage of that gift and have a great time.”
The girls and boys competed in 10 events, which included second-place finishes in the girls 200 medley relay and girls 200 freestyle relay. The boys competed in two events, the boys 200 freestyle relay and the boys 50 individual freestyle. Sophomore Ricardo Baldenegro competed in both events for the boys, finishing 12th in the individual freestyle and 13th in the freestyle relay.
For the girls, freshman Delaney Cowan and sophomore Anika Mailey Sta. Maria each competed in four events and were both part of the medley and freestyle second-place teams. Alongside Cowan and Sta. Maria, sophomore Brooke Harnish and freshman Leela James competed in the medley relay and Emely Salinas and James competed in the freestyle relay.
Cowan and Sta. Maria also competed in individual events. Cowan would finish in third place in the girls 200 individual medley and sixth place in the girls 500 freestyle. Cowan believes she and her team had a great season, but at the end of the day appreciates that she can just go out and have fun with her team.
“It was definitely hard with COVID to make connections with the team at first. I think we managed it very well,” said Cowan. “Work hard and if you put in the effort something is going to show for it. To the people that come to practice every day, the results will show and if they keep doing it next season it will show. They just got to push to the best of their abilities.”
Sta. Maria finished fifth in the girls 100 butterfly and 10th in the girls 200 individual medley. Sta. Maria didn’t even know about the CIF meet until only a couple weeks before it happened, but she still came out and competed hard for herself and for her team.
“I felt that this year’s season was pretty great overall. Despite being the newest and smallest team in the district, I felt that our team has grown a lot over the short amount of time we spent together during practice,” said Sta. Maria. “Believing in yourself and your abilities is one of the best ways that you can make sure that you can do great and have fun during swim meets. My team’s overall performance during CIF definitely blew my mind. So many of them were able to get personal best times if I remember correctly and I’m so proud of them for it.”