Pete Jinapin performing his backstroke lap. Photo taken by David Cartledge.

This year held big changes for the Malden High swim team. They lost a lot of good swimmers due to them graduating, and have also changed to a new, more difficult league. This has made the year much more difficult for the players. Even with those changes, the boys managed to win in the conference.

Coach Jessica Bisson stated that “This is a very busy season with a lot of meets, but [the team is] holding [their] own and putting in a great deal of effort.” She added that “one of the biggest challenges [the team] had to face is the fact that this league allows diving scores to count even when the opposing team does not have any divers.” This means that because the other teams have divers and Malden does not, the team is already behind in points, so it makes it challenging for the team to catch up and take the lead again. Sophomore Tyler Lu stated that “It was more challenging for [them] to succeed because it was a new league…[they] didn’t really know their talent which made it more challenging for [them].”

Bisson said that “[the team] lost 13 seniors last year so this has definitely been a rebuilding year. This left [the team] with less depth than we used to have but we continue to see growth every day.”

Junior Tyler Lu in the midst of his freestyle lap. Photo taken by David Cartledge.

Because the team has gone through so many changes, they have excelled at things while also struggling at others. Ms. Bisson addressed this by stating that “[The team] has done really well with pushing through any adversity that has come [their] way”, but that it has been different because “[The team] hasn’t lost in the last couple of years so it can be a shock when a loss happens.” 

The new season and new league has set some new goals for the team, some of which they have already achieved and some that they plan on achieving before the end of States. Coach Bisson stated that one of the goals the team had at the start of the season was “to show improvement and do the best we can to make sectional and states cuts” which they have reached. The team has also had 2 swimmers break school records so far this year, Kevin Ochoa who beat the 200 free and Pete Jinapin in 500 free. A number of the swimmers this year have made it to States and [they] are hoping that many more will too.

This year the team seems to have a very family-like relationship. Coach Bisson stated that “[the teams] upperclassmen are doing a great job of helping the newcomers through the season.” and that “No one is left out and the entire team works together to make sure meets run smoothly and to make sure everyone is prepared and confident.”

The newcomers to the team this year seem to be putting in a lot of effort to make sure that the team does well. Coach Bisson stated that “All of [their] new swimmers continue to show improvement every day.” Tyler Lu also commented on this by saying that “The newcomers are good because [they] are actually putting the work into swimming which is great.”

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