15 swimmers qualify for regionals
A cool dip in the pool is one way to relax, but in this case the pressure is on. Bel Air High School has 15 qualifying swimmers for the regional level. The regional swim meet will be held Feb. 6 and 7 in Andrews.
The seven boys who qualified include, Raul Palacios, Armando Flores, Tristan Griego, Javier Yebra, Eric Bustillos, Christian Padilla, and Brandon Betancourt. The eight girls who qualified include Angela Morales, Mariafernanda Espinoza, Alejandra Mejia, Lanneya Trujillo, Amber Moncada, Rut Zapata, Rebekah Jimenez, and Genesis Pedregon.
Freshman Armando Flores competed and qualified in the 200-yard relay, 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“When I found out I qualified for regionals I felt accomplished with myself because as a freshman I was racing against way older swimmers, seniors. I still believe there is plenty room for improvement, but I am sure regionals will be a wonderful experience,” Flores said.
Senior Mariafernanda Espinoza competed and qualified in the 200 free, 200 free relay, and 400 free relay. She said regionals are something she will look forward to and thanks her new coach, Raul Suffle for his commitment.
“Mr. Suffle has great ethics, and he is also a very wise and knowledgeable man who is always doing his best to help everyone,” Espinoza said.
This is the first year with the swimmers for English teacher Suffle. Despite this, he has been able to accomplish some of his goals and meet his expectations.
‘This team is the most coachable group of kids I’ve ever coached,” he said. “Every single swimmer expressed their commitment to the sport, team and themselves through the integrity in effort, attendance, and compassion for each other. The entire season has been a perpetuation of excitement. The excitement at the beginning was in seeing the drive and potential growth in their abilities. The excitement in the end is seeing that the drive has not diminished, but in fact grown,” Suffle said.
By Monica Angel
Photo by Samantha Guerra