Swimmers wrap up season with CIF championship victories

Junior Brisa Chajan went into the 2023 CIF Swimming Championship hoping to push herself. Her efforts proved successful as she later placed first in the 200 yard medley relay. 

“It was nerve-wracking,” said Chajan, who competed in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle and the 100 and 200 yard medley relays. “I’ve (trained) for it but when you get there, it’s like ‘Oh, there’s other fast people here (from) all these other schools. It’s not just (my) group (anymore)’.”  

The Birmingham Community Charter High School (BCCHS) team competed in the final major swim meet of the season at Valley College on May 7, featuring students from both the girls team and boys team. Despite the excitement of placing, the experience Chajan remembers most fondly is supporting her teammates when she wasn’t competing.

“We’re all there and cheering for each other,” Chajan said. “We see (our teammates) swimming and we root for them. Whether you lose or win, (everyone) is still supportive.”

Freshman Kaleigh Tapaoan was thankful to have a support system in her teammates as she achieved a new personal best.

“I felt really good about it,” said Tapaoan, who competed in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley (IM) and 200 freestyle relay. “I felt really motivated and focused at the meet, (competing) and encouraging my other teammates to do good.”

Tapaoan placed fourth for the 200 IM and seventh in the 100 breaststroke. For future swim seasons, she hopes to aim even higher and qualify for state championships.

“I know I didn’t get first place, but it felt really good to get to a higher place than I usually do,” Tapaoan said. “I hope that I get to achieve more (next year) and (do) what I can for my team.”

Chajan’s setting her sights on a more confident mindset.

“Mentality is a big thing,” Chajan said. “If you always think ‘Oh, they’ll always be faster than me’, you already have that (hopeless) mindset and you won’t go anywhere.”