Buena’s swim athletes stay in fast lane throughout 2023 season


Scott Manninen

Gabby Swaim, Mikayla Salas, Kendall Nagaoka, Addison Bruno, Olivia DeCierdo, and Kathryn Salazar posing happily at CIF

Sierra Ruiz, Staff Writer

From performances that made a splash to unforgettable team moments, the 2023 swim season was one for the books. As the swim season came to a close, the team went on a deep dive into their feelings and moments that had the swimmers drowning in delight. 

After having a serious injury, CIF swimmer sophomore, Olivia DiCierdo, was convinced she would not have a swim season. But, she held those fears under the water and jumped into the season. “I didn’t think I was going to have a swim season. I had to restart in different lanes which motivated me to kick it into high gear,” DiCierdo said. “I had only been training for one month. When I noticed two weeks left in the season, I was in shock. And when I took second at league finals, I was in awe.”

[The season was] “Pretty eventful, the team had a really good community and good team chemistry. It was, overall, a fun time,” CIF swimmer senior Nico Furneaux said.. “My highlights were making an auto qualifying time for CIF and league champion for the second year in a row. It’s a young team and everyone performed a lot better than expected. The season’s successes were unexpected.” 

While the team may be “young,” as Furneaux said, there are no doubts that they had many successes, going as far as sending  seven swimmers to CIF. Six of which came from the girls team, more girls sent than ever before according to swim coach, Scott Manninen. While Manninen, of course, is proud of the swimmers who were able to go to CIF, he expressed that he is proud of the team as a whole. 

[Regarding CIF athletes] “Their number one qualities are that they are motivated. They were so determined and psyched. We have six girls going off to CIF and, in my eight years of coaching, it’s the most we’ve ever sent and I’m really proud of those six,” Manninen said. “But, it is important to recognize all athletes, ‘Manninen gives a shoutout to all those swimmers who never missed a practice and always gave 110 percent, they know who they are.’”

With the latest performance from the team this season, it is clear that they never struggled to keep their heads above water in crushing the competition. “From day one it was ‘push ‘em’ and they went into it full-on,” Manninen said. Also expressing that the team attitude and work ethic was “remarkable.”