LPHS swim and dive team starts off another great season
The LPHS Swim and Dive team have started their season and
The girls’ team started two weeks before the boys, so the girls have more meets under their belts. The girls sits at 4-6 and the boys are 6-2.
The boys’ and girls’ team has two new coaches–Chris Anderson and Danna Henderson. Anderson is a counselor at Kesling, and Hendeson is a detective at the Michigan City Police Department.
Anderson became a coach for swimming because he has always been passionate about swimming and loves teaching and watching it. His favorite things about this season is having one-on-one swim lessons, and watching them race and have success from those lessons. He loves coaching because he gets to watch these athletes become the best they can and to see them build their personal skills and swim skills. He also coaches 5th and 6th grade track.
The two main boys’ and girls’ coaches are Brahim Hakim and Brain Vedo. Hakim is the head coach, and he plans the workouts and the meets. He is the eyes and ears of what is going on involving the team. Vedo is the assistant coach, and he is the one who helps coach with everything. He does all the computing.
Hakim has been a coach and an official for USA swimming for 20 years, and this is going to be his 40th season. His biggest challenge this year is getting swimmers to believe in themselves and to do things they didn’t think were possible. His biggest goal this year is to advance a couple swimmers to State and place at least 3rd in Sectionals. Coaching gives him the opportunity to give back to the community and watch swimmers grow into themselves. He loves to see them develop their own self-confidence and self-worth.
“When swimmers and divers believe in themselves, they work harder and get faster and dive better,” Hakim said.
Vedo has been coaching for 11 years now and has been with Hakim for all of them. The most challenging part for him right now is he is juggling a lot of work. He is a 7th grade math teacher at La Porte Middle School, a swim coach, and he is currently in grad school. But his favorite part about being a part of the swim team is being one big family and supporting each other. He sees everyone having a fantastic season and achieving a lot of personal records. His biggest goal this year is to bring the girls and boys together to have a better supportive team.
“My main focus is making my swimmers the best version of themselves that they can be. Of course I want them to swim fast as well, but I care more about them as people than as wins and loses,” Vedo said.
There are eight students graduating this year and have all been there for four years. Grant Olson, Caiya Cooper, Samira Arnsbarger, Dani Temores, Ben Kish, Gage Lane, Max Unger, and Alyssa Arneson. The captains for the girls’ team are Cooper and Arnsbarger and the captains for the boys’ team are Max Unger, Gage Lane, and Abbas Hakim.
Cooper has been swimming since she was four, and now she is a two-time MVP and a three year captain. Her goals this year are to break a school record and make it to State again in the 500 freestyle. She is happy to be a part of this big family, and she is looking forward to everyone being the best they can be and watching people succeed.
“Swimming means the world to me. I couldn’t imagine not doing this. It keeps me on a schedule and keeps me in shape and happy,“ Cooper said.
Unger has been swimming since his freshman year, and he is now a three year captain. He won the Mental Attitude Award his freshman and sophomore year. His junior year he received MVP. His goals this year is to go faster times in all of his events. His favorite thing about swimming is the team’s camaraderies. He is really motivated to swim to get better and see his teammates succeed too.
After the high school swim season is over, the team offers a four week program to middle school students who are interested in swimming. It costs nothing, and the high school swim team coaches these students. There is one meet after the four weeks, and there are usually three other teams who come to compete. It is a great opportunity for middle school students to try a sport. For more information, can email Coach Brahim at [email protected] or listen to the announcements at the middle school in March.
Come stop by and watch the last home meet of the season on Thursday January 5th in the Slicer Natatorium.