Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 2
Athlete of the Week: Jeremy Grden
Righetti High School has been having anther exceptional season in swimming, and senior Jeremy Grden of the boys’ team is a big reason why. Apart from setting a number of CIF fast consideration times over the course of their five meets so far, Grden humbly gives credit to his teammates for the team’s successes.
“I’m stoked. The guys are coming out every day. We work as hard as we possibly can and it shows when we come to race, so it’s just awesome,” he said.
On March 12, the team defeated Orcutt Academy 214-69 during a non-league meet, giving Righetti a 5-0 record for the season so far. The team has now defeated Cabrillo, Paso Robles, Lompoc, Arroyo Grande, and Santa Barbara. At the meet against Orcutt Academy alone, Grden set two CIF Division 2 fast consideration times. He won the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute 49.21 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.78. Grden also helped his team win the 200 freestyle in 1:30.55, along with Colter Knight, Devon Tomooka, and Keanu Martinez. Times like these help to explain the large margins of victory the water Warriors had in their meets against Paso Robles and Lompoc.
Grden chalks up Righetti’s successes this season to the hard work they put into every practice. “Everyone is pushing each other, so when we’re going at each other we’re all getting better and better,” he said.
In a sport with such raw and direct competition, rivalries within the team help to explain the great results. Grden also trusts in the team’s coaching under Rob Knight. Grden paraphrased the training philosophy as “leav[ing] everything you can in the pool.”
Their coach isn’t afraid to train the team hard, either. Grden said Knight mixes it up every day, citing “something new that tears you down. That’s what helps.”
In addition to the normal swimming drills, Grden said, “We lift weights and we swim. That’s pretty much it.” No new-fangled fad training here—just old-fashioned hard work explains Righetti’s success.
In addition to having made the CIF finals as part of Righetti’s water polo team, Grden hopes to have a good showing in CIF swimming for his final year.
“We just want to bring as many guys as we can [to CIF],” he said. “The more that can make it, the better.”
Last year’s competition didn’t go as well as he had hoped: “We didn’t do so well at CIF. We didn’t have that many people go.”
But even while discussing CIF competition, which is often focused on individuals, Grden enjoyed talking more about the team and its success than about his own performance. This makes sense, given that he enjoyed talking about hanging out with his teammates when they’re on land.
“We’re just a bunch of bros,” he said. “We do the best we can.”
Grden is still considering his options for the future, but he said he would like to keep swimming.
“It just depends on what comes around,” he added.
The Righetti boys’ swim team took on Pioneer Valley’s Panthers away on March 15 and will take on St. Joseph’s High School at home on March 22 at 3 p.m. for the next edition of that cattycorner rivalry.
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