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Staying in focus

2015 Division II Women’s Swimming and Diving

by: Jardyn Angell

Queens freshman swimmer Patricia Castro-Ortega swam in the 2012 London Olympic Games for Spain, and plans to join the Olympic team again in 2016. However,  during the 2014-15 season, she was focused on the Queens University of Charlotte women’s swimming team’s single goal: win a championship.

The Royals prepared to reach their goal by taking on Division I programs such as  Davidson, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. Even in its losses to the larger programs, the team viewed the competitions as a way to improve its performance.

But it was Castro-Ortega’s four record-breaking performances in the 200 individual medley, the 200 freestyle, the 500 freestyle and the 100 freestyle that helped the Royals clinch their first national title. They amassed 540.5 team points, defeating previous national champion Drury by more than 50.

“The Olympics, I swim by myself. I mean, I have a team, but you have to swim just by yourself,” Castro-Ortega said. “Here, you swim for your team. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it doesn’t matter if you are tired; you have to swim for them. The environment is different. If I’m sad or tired, I have to deliver for my team."