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The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Bryan Yan reminisces on 11 years of swimming

Samantha Gee
Senior Bryan Yan (left) swims next to longtime friend Junior Ben Hu (right) at night

With a decade of swimming under his belt, senior Bryan Yan is hopeful regarding the future of his 11th and final year. He started swimming at just four years old, intrigued by the sport because of his fixation with the ocean.

“I had a toddler fixation with fish so when my parents were looking for an activity for me to join they asked, ‘Why don’t you try swimming?’” Yan said.

Since then Yan’s passion for swimming has only grown stronger as he narrows down his strengths and focuses on his goals ― like cutting time on his 100-yard breaststroke. Yan’s ambition is the driving force behind his many achievements, even going as far as to break his team’s 50-yard breaststroke record at just 12-years-old.

“I think that record was up for around 17 to 20 years. That was a pretty big confidence boost to me,” Yan said.

Despite his accolades, the reason Yan swims isn’t for the awards or the recognition ― it’s for the teammates he’s grown close to over the years.

“A lot of my best friends right now are ones that I’ve met in my first year of the team,” Yan remarked, giving a special shout out to junior Ben Hu and senior Garima Baldawa.

Along with 11 years of swimming follows a myriad of memories worth cherishing, whether that be the early morning practices or the unexpected animal corpses submerged at the bottom of Dougherty’s pool.

“We were 30 minutes into practice,” explains Yan. “We were finishing up warmups and then all of a sudden we hear somebody scream a few lanes down ‘Oh my god, is that a dead rat?’ We looked underwater and, surely enough, there was just this dead rat. It was disgusting.”

But swimming didn’t just teach Yan how to fetch drowned rats ― it taught him the importance of pain tolerance.

“We often have to swim long distances [and] your ankles and chest get really sore, but in order to finish the race you have to push through all that. I think it’s cool that swimming is an individual sport,” Yan said. “When you’re in the pool, you can’t talk to your friends as much as you’d like. The only interaction you have with them is either when you run into them during a flip turn or you catch up to them and tickle their toes. I tickle my homies’ toes all the time.”

In Yan’s mind, swimming is one of the most unique sports out there. It’s a full body experience, forcing athletes to work out the entirety of their muscle groups. It can be intense and riveting, but as Yan watches his high school athletic career come to an end, he realizes his only remaining goal is to have fun.

“I’m going to be off to college in a few months” Yan recognizes. “And I wanna spend the rest of the season hanging out with the people I love – my teammates.”

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Kush Rajesh
Kush Rajesh, Staff Writer
For Kush, journalism is a vehicle that encourages him to explore his brain and translate thoughts onto paper. It has allowed him to challenge his own thinking and listen to the stories of individuals that showcase the importance of perspective. Kush loves the variety journalism has to offer and he feels it is rewarding to express himself. His journalism goal for this year is to highlight the individuality and uniqueness of others on campus as well as voice his own opinions on pressing matters. In his free time, Kush loves storytelling through any medium whether it be film, television, or books. If Kush could be anyone else on the Tribune, he'd be Shreyas Sambara. Shreyas is very dedicated and when he looks at you, you can feel his passion. 

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