Despite having considered quitting swimming last year, Adriana Ortiz broke the record for the fastest mile swim in Santa Ana College history April 23 at the Orange Empire Conference Finals.
This was the first time that the women of the Santa Ana College swim team had the opportunity to compete in the mile during league finals.
“It was also a great experience because women weren’t allowed to swim the 1650 meter for years, so this was the first time our league included it in our conference meets,” Head Coach Alfred Reyes said.
Ortiz broke the record on the last day of the meet. The mile was her first race of the day. She recorded a time of 24:07.90.
“It was a pretty cool feeling breaking the record, because it was the first time for the women for Santa Ana,” Ortiz said.
The mile race in competitive swimming is 1650 meters, which comes to a total of 66 laps in the pool.
“I practiced a lot, and I tried to calm myself down for the race,” Ortiz said.
Reyes noted Ortiz’s improvements over a five-month period.
“I was excited as a coach because she broke the record at the finals, but five months ago she was barely breaking 28 minutes,” Reyes said.
Ortiz didn’t just struggle to improve her speed, she also had to overcome injuries throughout the season.
“She was injured for part of the season, she had a bad shoulder a bad knee and she had to go through therapy,” Reyes said. “So for her to get on those blocks more than once and break the record, it showed a lot about her character.”
Her injuries didn’t stop her from being tough competition to the other swimmers; Ortiz continued to keep time down and come out on top.
“Even though she was always injured throughout the season she always managed to pull through and beat me and my other teammates,” freshman Esmeralda Roman said.
Ortiz had taken a year off from swimming the previous year and considered quitting altogether before coming back and breaking the record.
She was planning on quitting after graduating high school, but decided to enroll in the offseason at Santa Ana College. After a year of not competing she decided to join the swim team.
“I’m glad to be back in the pool, being in the pool is my zone, whether it’s playing water polo or swimming, it helps me relax,” Ortiz said.
Swimming is a large part of her life, but she also enjoys spending time with family and friends on the weekends.
“My family have always been my biggest supporters. My brother was my coach for water polo and swim in high school,” Ortiz said. “He was my No. 1 supporter to keep swimming.”