Dominating Denton District


Pictured: Junior Amanda Risley. Photo by: Erin Sledge

You could hear their medals clink against each other in the hallways, the Monday they came back from the district meet in Denton. Bringing home 9 gold medal for solos and 5 gold medals for relays, the Rider Swim Team dominated at their last swim meet. This win makes the Rider swim team the champions of district 5-4A. A title that the boys have now won for 4 years in a row.

“The Raiders have had some good swimmers lately, but above that they have had good student athletes that has created a great team feeling , they are very supportive of each other,” said swim coach Oyvind Zahl.

Zahl is not only a coach for the Rider team, in fact, he isn’t even a faculty member of Rider, he works at Burgess Elementary as a P.E teacher. But everyday from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. he drives his way to the Central Boys & Girls Club swimming pool along with the swim students from Rider, Hirschi, WFHS, Burkburnett, and Iowa Park.

“Swimming is really different,” said freshman Jared Dzakovic, “it’s a unique sport.”

Dzakovic came home with four gold medals, two from relays.

Many people don’t realize how much labor is put into becoming a swimmer.
Like every other sport, swimming is just as committing and difficult.

Athletes say they have to be able to push themselves to another level they never knew was within them, until they’re satisfied. And in the athletic world, athletes are never satisfied. They want to become better, stronger, faster. Determination. Power. Drive. Improvement. In swimming, they don’t just want to beat others. They want to be able to beat them, and themselves..

“I’m not in competition with anyone else, but myself; I like to build my time and make myself better,” said junior Cheyenne Garcia.

Garcia placed 3rd in the 50 yard freestyle, and earned Rider two gold medals in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle relays with freshmen Yolanda Moreno, Heather Gray, sophomores Yesenia Gonzalez, Elaina Terrell, junior Amanda Risley and senior Summer Florida. The entire team doesn’t just count people from Rider, but the swimmers count WFHS, Hirschi, and Burkburnett as one team.

“The most I like, is all the people…that’s the best part,” said senior Elizabeth Rico.