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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Pool holds junior’s attention

The sparkle of a pool often invites crowds during the warm summer months. However, the water attracts Ashley Chavez, ’08, year-round.

Chavez arrived on campus her freshmen year. Although she commutes from Mendota daily for class, she believes the 50-minute drive is worth it.

?I wanted to come to Fresno Christian because it offers a Christian education,? Chavez said. ?Even though it does not have a swim team, I am still able to try out at different schools.?

Chavez?s mother enrolled her in lessons at four years old, at a local pool. Now, she competes for Kerman High and hopes to earn a swimming scholarship for college.

?Swimming is one of the only sports I?m good at,? Chavez said, ?and I have wanted to pursue a career since I was four. I?m still looking at different universities, to see what each offer; I also want to major in business.?

Chavez swims with the varsity team three days a week for two hours and competes twice a week. She started practicing in February and began league meets on March 6. The actual season, however, lasts April-May. Although Kerman competed in two meets and did not win overall, Chavez placed first in the 50m freestyle (29 sec.) and second in butterfly (76 sec).

“At first it was hard adjusting because I didn’t know anyone,” Chavez said, “but within a week a made a lot of friends. I hardly ever get nervous when I compete, but when I do it’s because some swimmers look very intimidating.”

Most of Chavez’s preparation takes place days prior to competition. She conditions daily with her team and exercises independently. For a pre-meet ritual, Chavez stretches and prays to calm nerves.

“I’ve needed to make sacrifices for swimming,” Chavez said, “not only with homework, but also my friends. It helps when they come to support me at home meets and congratulate and encourage me after each competition.”

For swim inspiration Chavez admires Michael Phelps. He earned six gold medal and two bronze at the 2004 summer Olympics, being the first Olympian since 1980 to win eight medals at a single Olympics. In addition, he owns 27 US National titles and 10-time world champion.

“He (Phelps) amazes me on how well he does,” Chavez said. “I watched him swim when he competed in the Olympics and I admire his skills.”

Chavez competes in two events. Although she earned her fastest time in freestyle, she favors the butterfly because it requires more strength and provides a challenge.

?I think it’s impressive how Ashley swims competitively,” Doug Daniel, ?10, said. ?I swim a lot during the summer, but I think it would take a lot of dedication and perseverance to condition and compete during the school year; I am too lazy.?

Chavez plans to swim for Kerman during her senior year and continues to look at university catalogues for opportunities. But in the meantime, she will compete for Kerman at the San Joaquin Memorial Meet on March 13 and against Dos Palos in Kerman on March 15.

For more information concerning Kerman’s swim team, contact coach Paul Torres at (559) 287-4570.

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