Castle Pines Storm: the little swim team that could
Castle Pines Storm front row left to right: Head coach (and post-grad secretary at Rock Canyon High School) Christina Kwon, Ben Brown, Claire Isert, Sam Isert, and Kaitlyn Brown. Back row: Derrick Fraser, Max Mills, Edward Yi, and Jacob Brown. The majority of the team is comprised of HOA 1 and HOA 2 residents.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Castle Pines Storm
At the beginning of the 2012 swim season, the Castle Pines Storm was the lowest ranked team in the lowest division of the Mountain Hi Swim League. The team had not won a single meet. In a Cinderella-esque story, the team has steadily improved, not only winning meets but clinching two division championships back to back.
After winning their very first meet in 2012, Storm came into the 2013 season full force, going 5-0 and clinching the D division championship. Coming into the 2014 season, the team was a little apprehensive because they moved up a division. Head Coach Christina Kwon said, “Having never been out of the D division, our goal was to win at least one meet in the C division. After winning our first meet, then the next, we were feeling quite confident going into prelims and championships.”
Storm only had 66 of their 120 kids on the team swimming prelims however. Of those 66, 58 qualified to swim at championships. Kwon said, “I knew our swimmers were capable of great swims, but I also knew it would take better than great swims to win the championship meet.”
When the first scores were announced after the relays, the team was hushed. Kwon said, “We were in first by less than 100 points. A huge roar went up through the Storm coaches tent and team area. Each time the scores were announced, our lead grew. With building confidence, our swimmers swam even faster and produced better and better swims throughout the meet.”
In the end, Storm won the C division championship; the girls finished only 38.5 points behind Cook Creek for the most points, and the boys finished 394 points ahead of Castle Rock West for first place. Storm also won age group titles for 8 and under girls, 11-12 boys, 13-14 boys, and 15 and over boys.
In addition to a second winning season in the higher division, Storm swimmers broke individual team records 144 times during the season and team relay records 48 times. Storm also had a team record of 36 swimmers qualify for the All Star meet.
Kwon said, “Even with our successes, our mantra has been to teach great technique, improve stroke work, have as many team bonding activities as possible, and teach/practice good sportsmanship. My two favorite things are to watch when swimmers really understand something for the first time, and when our team gets crazy loud during our team cheers.”
Clearly, Storm has lots to cheer about! Visit www.castlepinesstorm.com for more information.