Swimming for a championship

While the rest of the college is going on vacation this winter, the Brahmas’ swim team will be in the pool practicing as hard as ever.

“Swimming is an endurance sport,” said head coach Fred Shaw. “The more you do it and the harder you push yourself, the better you’ll be.”

The swimming season starts in February and continues until May.

During the fall and winter the team has spent time in the pool putting in mileage to attempt a repeat of their 2011 conference championship.

“Everybody’s been training really hard,” said Matthew Cobelli, a returning sophmore, before slipping into the pool to start his workout.

Last year was the first time during Shaw’s tenure at Pierce that the swim team brought home a conference championship.

The major change going into the 2012 swim season will be the addition of a second head coach.

Judy Terhar, formerly Shaw’s assistant coach, will assume her new role as head coach as Shaw begins to slowly retire, he said.

The swim team, which recruits from local high schools, was unable to recruit as many women as they would have liked this season.

“Sometimes there are a lot of good swimmers around and sometimes there are not,” said Shaw. “We might not be able to rack up as many point.”

Shaw will be looking to beat Ventura College, the swim team’s strongest opponent.

“There are 20 people as good or better than me on that team,” said Jordan Bernstein.

The women’s team, which had four returning swimmers last season, will look to their two returning swimmers this season, including last year’s Western State Conference Swimmer of the Year, Samantha Elam, to lend experience to the teams newest additions.

“Many of them don’t have enough experience,” said Shaw.

The men’s team, who placed fourth in their conference last year, will also be trying to repeat last year’s performance and will be looking to Jordan Bernstein and Blair Kroetz to lead the way.

“I wanna break the 100 meter freestyle for men’s,” said Bernstein.