Swim and Dive Team Looks for Ninth State Title

Video featuring Captain Minsu Kim

Boys baseball and girls basketball celebrated with various commemorative undertakings, from material to experiential, but swim and dive’s celebratory state championship activities have never occurred.  With a lack of celebration, a lack of recognition is also present when discussing the team’s vast accomplishments. Somehow the swim and dive team is rarely mentioned when curating the list of commanding teams that PHS has to offer, even with their ever growing number of state championship titles. There has been little to no celebration for their many titles and a lack of recognition for how powerful they are. 

PHS swim & dive is a historically dominant team in Montgomery County (MoCo). Back in 2012, the boys swim and dive took their first state title, and has not relinquished their hold on it yet. The girls team snatched a state championship back in 2013 and then came back full force from 2015 onward, going on five consecutive years now.  Their prowess in MoCo goes unmatched every year.

Besides swim and dive’s eight consecutive state championships, PHS has only sent two other teams, girls basketball and boys baseball, to the state final round in the last four years. 

There are a lot of factors that play into the lack of recognition surrounding swim and dive. The three most prevalent factors include timing, location, and size of the team.  The bright and early Saturday morning meets in Germantown are not ideal for most students to attend, thus leading to a lack of a student section. Practices are also in Germantown, so other students don’t see the hard work being put in, as they normally would see on a field or court. Not only does the team have abnormal schedules, but they are also a very large team Consisting of 80-90 members, it’s difficult to pinpoint who is on the team and who’s not. It’s a unique arrangement when compared to the other traditional sports that PHS has to offer. 

Swim and Dive has not had any celebrations to commemorate their wins. While the baseball team flaunted large, dazzling rings and the girls basketball team paraded around Poolesville, swim and dive has boasted nothing but their ever growing banner in the gym. 

Coach Jonathan Leong notes that purchasing rings is costly and a parade would occur in colder weather, possibly harming the athlete’s health. 

“It’s more about being acknowledged rather than being celebrated,” admits senior captain Minsu Kim. “We put in the hard work for these wins. We just need acknowledgement that we’re on the same level as the other sports teams.”

Kim goes on to add that small-scale recognition is appropriate for the size of the team, as the team is so large that it simply isn’t feasible to celebrate each of the 80 individuals. 

Swim and dive hopes to collect their ninth consecutive win this season, with strength coming through from swimmers of all grade levels. Kim reminds PHS to keep an eye out for seniors Moshelle Borjigin and Helena Narisu, juniors Josh Hou and Jonathan Ye, and freshmen Anna Yi and Avery Ye. The next meet will be January 4th at 11:30 at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center, with the following meet at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center on January 11th at 11:30.