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By the students, For the students

The Navigator

By the students, For the students

The Navigator

The Road to Sulphur – Newman Swim Team Competes at the State Championships

The Newman Varsity Swim Team traveled to Sulphur, Louisiana for the Division 3 LHSAA State Championship Swim Meet.


The Newman Swim Team thrives amidst the adrenaline of swim meets; the strong smell of chlorine, the loud cheering of spectators, and the sound of splashing water create an unique energy only found on the pool deck. At 6:45 AM on November 14th, the Gottesman Pool was filled with Newman swimmers for the final practice of the season.

All of Newman’s swimmers agree that the season was successful and full of personal records, state qualifications, and team bonding. The culmination of any swim season is the State Meet. After months of hard work, Newman’s Varsity Swim Team departed from Newman’s campus on Tuesday, November 14th to compete in the 2023 Division III Swimming State Championships in Sulphur, Louisiana. Team Captain Emma Passler reflects on the Championship Meet; she states: “State has been the highlight of my fall semester for the last five years, and I’m really going to miss the team and all the traditions that have been passed on each season.” Full of excitement and anticipation, the team arrived in Sulfur four hours later. The swimmers enjoyed dinner at Zeus’s before heading back to the hotel to begin one of the best traditions of the season: Secret Swimmer.

Weeks before State, swimmers randomly selected a teammate as their secret swimmer. Along with the traditional “Secret Santa” aspect of gift giving, swimmers created posters for their Secret Swimmers to display on the pool deck. The first night of State, swimmers slid their posters under the doors of their Secret Swimmer’s room, and everyone brought their posters to the meet the next day.

The following morning, the team woke up bright and early and headed to the Sulphur Aquatic Center for warm-ups at 7:30 AM, before the Preliminary competition began at 9 AM. Meet warmups are one of the most stressful parts of the state meet. The team is only given about thirty minutes to warm up, and the entire team must fit into two lanes. During prelims, all state qualifiers and relay teams swim their events and attempt to place in the top 16. The top 16 swimmers or relay teams in each event progress to finals, which takes place on the following day. All of the relay teams and several individual swimmers qualified for finals. After prelims, the team headed to Olive Garden to refuel before finishing some schoolwork at the hotel. The team took a break to guess who their Secret Swimmers were and received their gifts, before having tacos for dinner and turning in for the night.

Once again, the team woke up on the 16th, ready to perform their best in the finals. After the day’s brutal meet warm up, the team practiced their dives before getting ready to swim at 9:20 AM. The first race of the day was the girls’ 200 Yard Medley Relay; in this race, each swimmer swims either 2 laps of backstroke, breaststroke, fly, or freestyle so that each person swims a different stroke. The girls placed 5th overall and dropped 0.98 seconds from prelims to finals. The boys placed 11th overall and dropped about 4.22 seconds from prelims to finals. At the end of the day, the relay teams swam again in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, in which each swimmer sprints four laps of freestyle. The girls’ team placed fourth and dropped 1.98 seconds from prelims to finals, while the boy’s team placed 7th. Additionally, many swimmers performed well in their individual races (see results below). Overall, the boys team placed 12th and the girls team placed 7th, two places higher than the previous year. 

As the final races finished, the team changed into comfortable clothes and loaded the bus to prepare for the long ride back to New Orleans, filled with sleeping, eating pizza, and finishing homework for the following day. The team arrived in New Orleans around 6 PM, tired but pleased with their performance the past two days. 

The State Championship Meet is one of the key team bonding events in the season that brings the team closer together. Junior Elias Hutchings reflected on his three years in swimming; he says: “The best part of the swim experience is the tight knit community and the great support from other members.” Throughout the season, the swimmers had many team dinners, took a trip to the Mortuary Haunted House, and played fun games like water polo to increase team morale. Sophomore Vivian Zhou mentions: “Everyone is so incredibly supportive and—in my opinion—this team is truly one of the best teams at Newman. We have such an amazing community; from the swimmers to the coaches and the parents, this team feels like a family.” Overall, the State Championship Meet was a fun culmination of a season’s worth of team bonding for the Varsity Swim Team.


200 Medley Relay

6th – Emma Passler, Morgan Breaux, Anjali Dasa, & Charlotte Norwood

12th – Nick Rezza, Elias Hutchings, Drew Sonnier, & Gio Arenas

200 Yard Freestyle

14th – Vivian Zhou ‘26

200 Yard IM

12th – Nick Rezza ‘25

100 Yard Freestyle

13th – Anjali Dasa ‘26

500 Yard Freestyle

11th – Vivian Zhou ‘26

8th – Elias Hutchings ‘25

9th – Nick Rezza ‘25

100 Breastroke

7th – Morgan Breaux ‘26

13th – Anjali Dasa ‘26

400 Freestyle Relay

4th – Vivian Zhou, Morgan Breaux, Anjali Dasa, & Charlotte Norwood

7th – Nick Rezza, Elias Hutchings, Drew Sonnier, & Turner Mazzanti

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About the Contributors
Nick Rezza
Nick Rezza, Technology Director
Nick is a current junior, who oversees all technology for the Navigator, including managing the website and working with the software for the print publications. In addition to writing for the Navigator, he is a member of the Varsity Swim Team, Speech & Debate Team, ACTIONS Environmental Committee, Student Activities Committee, and Pioneer as a copy editor.
Morgan Breaux
Morgan Breaux, Writer