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Diving into action: Sophomore competes at nationals


Seconds before the race begins, sophomore Raymond Welgosh resides on the starting block, his body arched and his hands gripping the block’s edge. As the buzzer sounds, signalling the start of the race, he dives into the cool water.

Welgosh, who medaled at states and competed at nationals in August,  is currently ranked eighth as a swimmer in Pennsylvania overall, with breaststroke as his main race. He swims for ’Stoga and the Suburban Seahawks Club, a swimming club in Delaware County. At nationals  he was unable to place, but had his first experience at a large scale meet.

“It was my first time competing (at nationals), and I was on the younger side of the other people competing, but I think I did pretty good and was happy after                        dropping     my time,” Welgosh said.

Welgosh’s parents first enrolled him in swimming when he was 5 years old so that he could learn a life skill. Neither Welgosh, nor his parents thought of doing the sport competitively for the first couple of years.

“At first, I thought it was okay. All of my friends were there, and I wasn’t very good, so I just went for the social aspect,” Welgosh said.

 Upon further realization, Welgosh noticed himself getting better by day at the sport, and started enjoying practices more. He continued swimming not only because of the friends, but because of the atmosphere. He loves participating at meets and being able to have experiences he can learn from in every race.

“At meets, if someone has a bad swim, its alright because we all pick each other up and help each other out,” Welgosh said.

Now, Welgosh trains six days a week and completes rigorous, 2-3 hour long practices to prepare for meets. He only gets three weeks off after nationals, a year, which take place around mid-August. 

  Welgosh often faces one major challenge: dropping times at meets. He sometimes has a hard time knowing that he had a better time in a previous race. Welgosh acknowledges that many of his races have gone poorly, but he doesn’t let them get in his way.

“I’ve been through a lot of plateaus, and it’s really frustrating to try and get through that, but I try to stay positive and motivated, even though it’s hard at times,” Welgosh said.

 Welgosh, the only swimmer in his family, appreciates his parents, who are               supportive despite never having had experience with the sport.

“They take me to and from practices, get me the things I need, and come cheer for me at meets. They have helped me the best they can,” Welgosh said.

Welgosh is very grateful for the lessons it has taught him. He has learnt to work harder, and show determination for his sport through his coaches and parents. Even with all of the challenges and obstacles along the way, he still finds the love for this sport. Swimming has helped him to make friends and to stay active and healthy throughout the years.

“Swimming has disciplined me and has made me a happier and better person all around,” Welgosh said. “It’s made me the person I am today.”    

He hopes to win districts and states later in the season, and hopes to someday go to college for swimming and qualify for the Olympic trials. Welgosh has been working toward his future goals through extra training and conditioning, and continues to make the most out of every practice and meet.

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Akshita Joshi
Akshita Joshi, Social Media Editor