By Ira Rose-Kim
While winter’s cold may deter many athletes from practicing outside, it is of little significance to Roosevelt’s winter athletes. Arguably the most arduous of sports seasons, winter athletics call for long, demanding practices as well as extensive conditioning in the off and preseasons. Luckily, the Riders’ work this year has paid off as swimmers, gymnasts, and wrestlers stormed their respective state meets to see what 3A was able to offer.
The Roosevelt wrestling team exerted unparalleled dominance in the Metro league this year as they won every dual meet they had, as well as the Metro Tournament. Though this level of supremacy was not seen at the state meet, the team was still very satisfied with what they’d accomplished. Senior Tom Skoog found the event as a whole to be especially rewarding. “They turn the lights up super high, there’s just thousands of people in the stands, and a lot of people wrestling too,” he recounted, “The whole thing’s a spectacle.” Senior Taka Olds was “extremely happy” with the meet’s outcome. Though he lost his first two matches, Olds was still enthralled by the experience. “Being in the middle of it all is very cool,” he detailed. They were also very proud of the number of wrestlers they sent to the meet and those who were able to win matches at such a high level. Hopefully, the team will be able to take this momentum and use it to continue their success in the coming season.
On the gymnastics side, the team as a whole was not able to reach as far. However, two individuals, Junior Claire Schwartz and Senior Quingyu Onouye, qualified for the state meet. Onouye described the meet as “awe-inspiring”. “I wasn’t expecting so many good girls,” she admitted. Onouye was satisfied with her performance at State, mentioning the skill she used at the meet was learned only two days prior. Onouye was also very impressed by Schwartz’s competing. “I think she got a lower score than she deserved,” she revealed. Onouye tied for 60th in the vault on the first day while Schwartz tied for 45th in the beam and for 17th in the vault. With two years of state experience under her belt, Schwartz will be a resourceful leader for the team next year.
Last but not least, the Roosevelt swim team had another strong showing at their state meet. Individually, captain Eli D’Albora felt he did well. “I got my fastest times, but not by as much as I would’ve hoped,” he explained. This was D’Albora’s third appearance at state, but his first time at the 3A meet since Roosevelt’s transition from 4A to 3A. He felt that while individual times at the 3A meet were faster than the ones seen at 4A, there was a lot less depth than what he would’ve seen at 4A. “If I’d been swimming 4A, I wouldn’t have made the finals in my 200 Free. I would’ve missed it by about two seconds, but I got 13th at 3A,” he explained. This was still a landmark year for the team as well. After coming off their Kingco Championship victory, the team sent more swimmers to state this year than they had since 2007 and more those swimmers scored more points than any Roosevelt team since 1988. The 400 Yard Freestyle Relay team placed 7th in the A-Final which helped move the team from 13th to 7th in state, tying the record for the farthest Roosevelt has made it in the meet.
As the weather warms up, many will look forward to the joys spring offers like baseball and soccer. For winter athletes however, the outdoors is a privilege they can live without. For them, its still the pools, mats and courts they know so well. It’s nine long months until the winter teams will get their next chance to compete and knowing Rider athletics, they’ll be more than ready for it.