By Peter Scamardo
In recent weeks, the swim team has been dominating the competition in all of its meets.
After starting the year with a victory in the Bellaire Invitational, the Eagles have lost only one meet since.
“Our season has gone very well,” junior Joseph Pelletier said. “The Richmond Private Invitational was our biggest win; we won by more than three hundred points. Overall, we have improved each year since I started my freshman year.”
The St. Thomas swim team has been increasingly successful in recent years and the swimmers have been improving every year.
The team now is a veteran unit with senior swimmers Blair Thoman, Tristan Salinas and Brian Williams leading the way, all of whom have swam every year since their freshmen year here at St. Thomas.
All of that time in the pool is finally starting to pay off and Thoman believes that makes them the team to beat.
“We match up pretty well in most of our rivalries,” senior team captain Blair Thoman said. “We’re able to dominate Awty, St. Pius and Houston Christian for the most part. The depth of our team has enabled us to compete with just about anyone in the league.”
Despite its vast amount of success thus far, the team has still been hard at work. And all of the dedication is paying off, as now several team members are clocking their personal best times, which has them confident in a strong finish when state comes around in a couple of months.
“All the training sessions should pay off in the end,” junior team captain Jeremy Gregory said. “All the early morning practices and all the late nights at swim meets should equate to a great performance at state for everyone.”
The hard work at practice is necessary if the team wants to improve on their fourth place finish at state last year. The Eagles are positive that they are one of the top three teams in the state and are confident they will have a strong finish come state.
But the road to get there does not get much easier. The Eagles will have to fight past some strong opposition, like the Strake Jesuit Crusaders and the El Paso Cathedral Fighting Irish, in the very near future.
With several strong swimmers and a larger pool of competitors to choose from, it is easy to see why Strake Jesuit is a major rival for the Eagles.
However, El Paso Cathedral is by far the toughest test for the St. Thomas squad this season.
“We would like to win state this year,” Pelletier said “but with El Paso Cathedral still in our district, first seems a little ambitious. However, finishing in the top three is our goal for now, after we finished fourth last year with a very young team.”
El Paso has won fifteen consecutive state titles so it will be an uphill battle for the Eagles to topple the perennial champions and titans of the pool.
But without a doubt, the Eagles will be a tough out for anyone this year and will not go down without a fight.
With two months to prepare for February’s state championship meet, the Eagles will have to be in top physical condition for a legitimate run at the state title.
It will be a rigorous competition, but the St. Thomas team is a strong bet to win the school’s first ever swimming state championship.