Girls Swim & Dive Win FIRST State Title

Girls Swim & Dive Wins First State Title
Posted on 11/12/2021

Update -- This story was updated after the girls swim & dive team won their FIRST EVER State Championship! Congratulations to these incredible student-athletes!

In the Covington Aquatic Center adjacent to Maple View Middle School, the Tahoma girls swim & dive team is huddled in the bleachers before practice. It’s just days before their last-- and biggest-- meet of the season, but their joking and laughing echoes throughout the arena. Despite the pressure of a State Championship looming, this group only knows fun, support, and trying their best.


“This weekend, I want to be here for the girls who are going through so much and support them,” said senior swimmer Hailey Sears. “No matter what happens, I want to remind them that there’s so much more to life than just what we’re here to do right now, and they’re all going to achieve so much in their future. I’m bringing that energy wherever I go.”

Tahoma Girls Swim Team


Hailey has been with the team for four years. Over that time, she’s grown into an insightful leader who led a dominant team to their first State Championship in Tahoma history. Right by her side was Hannah Weissman, another senior who has a reputation for keeping things light on the surface, but was determined to achieve a goal four years in the making.


“This has been our dream since freshman year,” she said. “I really love this group and there’s no other team I’d rather try to take this title with.”


The team was fresh off the first Districts Championship in team history. But did they really think four years ago that they’d be in a position to stand atop the podium at State someday? 


“I’ll always remember the almost unrealistic goals that they set for themselves and then achieve,” said head coach Theresa Castaneda. “It’s been incredible to see. Winning a state championship is a goal that these girls set for themselves four years ago, and they’ve never backed away from that.”


We’ll take that as a yes.


It’s been a long time coming for Hailey and Hannah, who have been there every step of the way. Like so many, they missed out on a run at State in 2020. Instead, they were limited to virtual meets and no Districts or State (although they won their league meet and set three school records in the process).

Hannah (left) and Hailey celebrate their District championship

Hannah (left) and Hailey

“Last year we didn’t get an opportunity due to COVID,” said Hailey. “This year we knew we had a couple new freshmen coming up and we thought ‘this could be the year to do it.’”


And it was. The team out-swam Curtis High School by 90 points at Districts, and then outscored Curtis 315.5 to 224 at State.


Winning a State title took more than a group of fast swimmers; it took a team with a winning culture. That’s what Castaneda, her coaching staff, and her seniors built at Tahoma.


“I love our team’s energy,” Hannah said. “Everybody is always dancing or having fun. There’s never any negativity. It’s always positive. Everybody is supporting each other.”

Swim Meet


“Our seniors’ leadership is incredible,” Coach Castaneda said through tears. “You couldn’t ask for two better girls to lead this team, and it makes me emotional to think about. They step up when you need them to.”



 

For more information on the Tahoma girls swim and dive team’s first ever District Championship, click here.


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