Despite losing some of their most experienced swimmers, the JV and Varsity swim teams are confident they will enjoy another successful season and win Marlborough’s ninth consecutive Sunshine League championship. The Varsity team also switched this year from Division IV to the more competitive Division III after winning its first CIF Southern Section title last season, which may make winning a second CIF Southern Section title more difficult. Nevertheless, both JV and Varsity swimmers said they look forward to improving and becoming a more closely-knit team during the spring season.
The swim team is significantly smaller this season because some of the Varsity swimmers who helped the Mustangs win their first CIF-SS championship last year graduated with the Class of 2010, some moved out of state, and others chose to focus solely on their commitments to club swim teams, including Team Santa Monica, UCLA’s Bruin Swim Club, Westside Aquatics and Hancock Park Swim Club. Club teams are private teams not affiliated with school athletics programs and often require rigorous and frequent hours of practice.
Liliana ’13 is one of several swimmers who chose to commit solely to her club team this year. Liliana swims for Team Santa Monica and practices for approximately 24 hours every week. Last season, Casso swam for both Varsity andTeam Santa Monica, and struggled with conflicting practices and meets with the two teams.
“ I decided to swim solely for my club team this year because the requirements for the school team didn’t permit me to do all of the training hours I would regularly do outside of the high school season. It was a hard decision because I really loved swimming with the team last year,” Liliana said.
Anjoum ’12 has been on Varsity swimming since she was in 9th Grade, balancing her time between the School team and a nearby club that practices at Marlborough and is coached by Varsityand JV Coach Peter Lambert.
“I’m on Hancock Park Swim Club, so conveniently there’s no problem swimming for the School,” Anjoum said.
Coach Lambert said that winning another CIF title this season will be a challenge because competing in Division III requires faster CIF qualifying times and the team has fewer experienced swimmers. However, according to Lambert the team is determined to succeed again in the Sunshine League championships.
“[Marlborough swimmers] are goal-oriented and driven, and so the great thing about that is that I have no doubt that we’re going to find some great leadership, and we’re going to have a great season,” Lambert said.
Anjoum said that although the team might not do as well in CIF as it did last season, the JV and Varsity teams’ bond will make the season as rewarding as ever.
“I think if anything there’s more team unity because the girls this year are really enthusiastic,”Anjoum said.
The team won its meets against Ramona Convent High School on Mar. 22 and Notre Dame Academy on Mar. 24.