New, expanded swim team makes splashy debut

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Lance yearbook

Varsity swimmer Julian Moll ’21 rises from the surface at a swim meet.

On April 15, Riordan swimmers dove into their first WCAL meet, which took place at Saint Ignatius. Despite not coming out on top, both boys and girls varsity got a taste of what the rest of the season will consist of: hard work.

Although the start to the season has not been the best in terms of winning, the athletes are determined to improve and look forward to breaking their personal records.

William Haskell ’22 said, “I think we have a great team this year. It is small, but I am constantly seeing everyone pushing themselves as hard as they can and giving everything they have to improve. To me, that is more important than having a large team full of people who don’t really try.”

I think we have a great team this year. It is small, but I am constantly seeing everyone pushing themselves as hard as they can.”

— William Haskell ’22

This is the first year Riordan has an official swimming team, as last year there was only a swimming club, which consisted of two swimmers and partnered with Sacred Heart Cathedral, so there is a lot of adjusting going on in this first half of the season. It is a brand new team with many new athletes who are all at different levels, and a new coach, Gwendolyn Dornan. Dornan swam competitively through college and began again over 20 years later as a master’s swimmer.

Before she came to coach the Riordan swim team, she coached and taught swimming in other places and schools. She has taught swim lessons to children and adults at various public pools in San Francisco. She has also coached Balboa High School in addition to other public high schools, a youth swim team, and was one of the coaches for a masters swim team as well.

She was also the coach for Mercy High School in San Francisco. Despite having to adjust to everything, the swimmers are glad to have not just a season, but a team at Riordan.

I’m happy to have motivated swimmers on the team and ready to crush the competition.”

— Julian Moll ’21

Julian Moll ’21, a varsity swimmer, explained, “I’m glad we were able to organize a team. I’m also happy to have motivated swimmers on the team and ready to crush the competition.”

Dornan added, “I have been pleased with the team as a whole. The nine who were chosen to practice and compete on a regular basis have taken it very seriously and been very committed. The four other swimmers that come once per week do not compete but come to all the meets to warm up and support their teammates. They will be ready next year when we are practicing closer to home. My goal for every member of the team is that they improve throughout the season and feel a sense of pride for themselves and their teammates.”

Haskell said, “We have a really good team dynamic, we are always on top of what we are doing, and we try our hardest to become the best team we can be.”