Dimond Swimmers Are Strong Contenders for State Titles

For years, the Dimond High swim team has dominated the pool in every corner of Alaska.

Their winning streaks haven’t always been continuous, but both the Dimond Girls and Boys are a force to be reckoned with at every meet.

The girls are headed to state at the end of this season to defend their state crown for the third year in a row, and the boys are hoping to reclaim the top honor after a one year gap from their previous seven years of winning first.

Senior swim captain Erin Moody said, “Up until recently the boys have won state for seven years in a row which is longer than any team in the state for any sport; it’s the longest streak.”

Another reason the team as a whole is so impressive is because both the boys and girls are competing at the top, not just one group.

When asked about something that makes the team so strong, Senior Chloe Asay said, “We push each other and cheer each other on.”

Other swimmers such as Reed Dittlinger and Erin Moody who are also seniors and have been on the varsity team since freshman year, shared this sentiment.

Dimond is unique in the sense that many students from across Anchorage come specifically to Dimond for swimming, whether it be from a homeschool program, a charter school or a zone exemption.

Moody said, “I for one was zoned for West but I came to Dimond because the team is so good and so that I could be coached under Scott.”

Scott O’Brien is the head coach for Dimond and has been coaching for 25 years. His commitment to the team has drawn swimmers in as well as the fact that he coaches for the Aurora Swim Team.

AST is a club team that feeds into the Dimond program mainly because swimmers follow O’Brien as well as geographical boundaries lining up as AST uses the Dimond pool as well.

This constant supply of strong swimmers keeps the Dimond team strong and creates a positive feedback loop in which more good swimmers are drawn to Dimond because of its reputation.

Although their dominance seems readily apparent, many members of the swim team feel the sport tends to get put on the backburner in comparison to other sports at Dimond.

The swimmers win almost every meet yet these wins are rarely talked about.

Moody said, “ I do not think swimming at Dimond is given enough credit.”

Although many may agree with Moody, some students seem to think there is an easy explanation for a lack of attention and celebration when swimmers do things like win state.

“They win so much it’s not exciting anymore,” said Conor Bates-Janigo, a senior on the varsity Tennis, Basketball and Baseball teams.

Regardless of how much credit they get, swimmers work hard day in and day out.

Varsity swimmers and exhibition (like C team or open) swimmers both have intense workouts every day and some even come in on Saturdays.

Intense dedication to the sport also manifests in other ways such as avoiding sugar altogether in lead up to important meets like regions and state.

Students at Dimond are looking forward to the pay off from the swimmers’ dedication and hoping for two more state titles in 2017.