Novice swimmer makes a splash


Giovanni Ortiz, a freshman here at Channel Islands High School, has been doing a fantastic job this swim and water polo season. 

Ortiz was introduced to these two sports by his sister, Irene Ortiz, a senior at the Islands who inspired him to try something new. It was easy for him to learn and cooperate with the swimming techniques and workouts since he is a very active person, so there was no issue with starting, but he stated, it was a frightening experience. 

When he was younger, Ortiz found himself in a predicament where he almost drowned in the ocean.

“I was on my dad’s shoulders and he stepped down too deep and he accidentally let go of me,” Ortiz recalled. “I fell in but I couldn’t get up, so my sister had to pull me up. It was really scary for me because I was very young.¨ Because of this incident, Ortiz developed a fear of deep water, so initially, it was frightening for him to play water polo.

Ortiz managed to get over his fears and realized that they couldn’t stop him from playing the sport he liked. Throughout the boy’s water polo season, he participated in close to 6 games, gave it his all, and did an outstanding job.

Once swim season started, he started getting his times down. At the beginning of the season, his 100 freestyle time was 1.31.07. With the help of hard work and dedication, his time improved. At the Citrus Coast League finals,  his time in the 100 free was 1.16.26, placing him 6th in the league, and he also participated in the 400 free relays, in which he took first place at the league finals.

¨Geo is a very bright kid. He made some epic strides during this season because of his attendance, dedication, and work ethic,¨ said Ms. Carly Jones, CI swim coach. 

Ortiz has given us such an amazing performance during this swim season. Simply by showing his dedication to working on his skills, such as patience, speed, breathing, and durability. 

¨I will definitely be returning to swim next year, not just because I like it but because it’s something that has gotten me through my freshman year,” Ortiz said. “Without swimming I don’t think my freshman year would be the same. I made new friends, I bonded with people, so you will definitely be seeing me next year.

Lastly, Ortiz encourages future students, “If you are looking for something new, I encourage people to join swimming. It’s fun you will love it.¨