Sophomore Sofia Abril swims backstroke at the second meet of the season, hosted by Ransom Everglades.
Sophomore Sofia Abril swims backstroke at the second meet of the season, hosted by Ransom Everglades.
Rafael Hanono

Gables Swim Team Glides Into a New Season

The swim team is prepared to outswim their opponents during their upcoming fall season.

The Coral Gables Senior High aquatics team has officially resumed practices and has been scheduled for swim meets. Since Aug. 7, Gables swimmers have been completing physicals and listening to their coaches, Mr. Wood and Mr. Couzo during practice. One week into Sept., Gables is striving towards individual and team accolades when districts comes around.

Welcoming the fall season, Gables swimmers participated in their first meet at Florida International University on Aug. 24. The team swam a tri-meet against Miami Springs and Alonzo Tracy Mourning High Schools, bringing home their first win of the season.

“During my race, I try my best to make all the time put in practice into play, and make it worth it. If I make a mistake, I must learn from it, because if not, then I won’t be able to get to the next level. I challenge myself,” sophomore Thena Barzola said.

Junior Luca Verdi prepares to dive during a relay at a tri-meet against Palmetto and Miami Beach High. (Rafael Hanono)

Every day, the swim team practices after school at Ransom Everglades, beginning promptly at 3:00 p.m. These Cavaliers practice all four main types of strokes as well as dives, flip turns and other essential swim drills.

Following Coach Wood’s planned swim set, the Cavaliers warm up and then swim multiple drills on intervals. Furthermore, they practice isolated drills, which train specific parts of the body. Ending with a cool down, the swimmers form a huddle to listen to announcements from the coaches before leaving practice.


Coach Wood, a member of the 2014 Gables graduating class, knows how to motivate his students by referring to his experience as a Cavalier swimmer. Encouraging his swimmers to beat his high school swim times, Coach Wood brings a competitive spirit to Gables aquatics.

“I felt great at the FIU meet. My time has drastically improved from last year, and I want to finish first in the 500 meter and have my time be under 7 minutes,” sophomore Alejandro Monroy said.

Being able to help those through the same problems that I dealt with, that is something I carry with me from my years as a swimmer to now, and helping with the struggles that we go through. And how we get better [is]  overall, determination, persistence, and suffering; swimming is a tough sport,”

— Coach Wood

Speaking of leadership, seniors Ty Tyson and Gloria Zaky will lead the swimming team as captains. During practice or on the way to meets Tyson and Zaky assist the coaches in giving constructive criticism for a swimmer’s approach to his or her race. These seniors have grown throughout their years at Gables, especially as athletes, making them worthy of their positions as captains.

“I do feel as though I have gained so many abilities, and I also feel like I have gained leadership abilities. I feel like that has a better impact on the team,” senior Ty Tyson said.

As the team continues to train and attend meets, they not only work on their individual times and strokes, but also on making it to regionals as a team. On Sep. 5, the team will participate in their second meet at Ransom Everglades, going head to head with Palmetto High and Miami High.

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About the Contributors
Gracie Luzarraga
Gracie Luzarraga, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Gracie Luzarraga is a sophomore at Coral Gables Senior High and is a part of the International Baccalaureate program. She is a first-year member of Cavsconnect and very excited to be part of the staff and see how her writing improves throughout this school year. Gracie is very ambitious and loves trying out new things as well as traveling to unfamiliar places. She values writing about her experiences, which is where her passion for writing comes from. She is a member of the swim team and various clubs. Outside of school, she enjoys spending most of her time under the sun, at the beach, baking or reading a good book. Gracie hopes to make the most of her sophomore year by giving back to the community and being as active as she can in the student body. She hopes to pursue a career in the health field one day and work with kids. Overall, Gracie looks forward to this school year and plans to continue to strive as a student.
Rafael Hanono
Rafael Hanono, CavsTV Staff
Rafael Hanono is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. He swims and plays Water Polo for Gables and is the only goalie on the team. He has been playing guitar for the past five years. Moreover, this is his first year in CavsTV. Rafa's passion is to be a doctor focusing in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine or to be a Banker and Financier. Excited to start CavsTV, he’s looking forward to contributing his best for the next three years.
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