Don’t hold your breath


Jacob Allard

Senior Ryan Figueroa takes his mark before swimming freestyle stroke at a meet. Throughout high school, he participated on the swim team for two years.

By Ciara Laney

A joke became reality for senior swimmer Ryan Figueroa. It all started Figueroa’s junior year when he and co-captains Nate Miller and Diego Aguiniga were talking about swimming at the high school level.

Aguiniga “was talking about swimming, but was joking about swimming because we never heard anything about them. Then a couple days went by and we actually ended up joining the team.”

For the past seasons, Figueroa swam the 50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

One struggle Figueroa experienced while swimming was handling breathing.

While racing the struggle is “not panicking when you’re about to drown,” Figueroa said. “It’s holding your breath because your lungs are screaming for air. Your body is screaming for air. It’s passing through that pain.”

Before meets, Figueroa would not eat four hours prior to swimming, otherwise he would throw up. He advises other swimmers “after the meet, stuff your face with anything you can find.”

During swim meets, the team would be “screaming and just supporting each other.” Figueroa’s favorite part about high school sports is “the team. It was really fun getting to know how to swim,” Figueroa said. “I met a lot of friends swimming just for two years.”

This year MTHS joined together with Edmonds-Woodway High School to create a team since together they made fourteen swimmers, seven from MTHS and seven from Edmonds-Woodway High School.

The team played football as a bonding exercise, which is one of Figueroa’s favorite memories. “We did seven on seven. It was Terrace versus Edmonds [Woodway]. That was a really good game, we had a lot of fun.” After graduating from MTHS, Figueroa will miss the teammates the most.

Figueroa would like to tell others “swim is really fun. More people should join and we [swimmers] should get more recognition because swim is exhausting. Swim is really hard. It’s a life skill, too.”

In the fall of 2018, Figueroa will be attending Western Washington University and will study industrial engineering/technology.