Swimmer Celine Rayan Places 7th at State


Cristina Davison

Celine Rayan, West’s swimmer.

By Cristina Davison, Staff Writer

Setting a new personal record with a 55.40 second 50-yard freestyle and dropping six seconds from her previous 100-yard freestyle record, freshman Celine Rayan, places 7th in State in the AWD (Athletes With Disabilities) Divison along with dropping 6 seconds off from sectionals. Rayan is excited to have reached her goal, which was to break one minute in the 50 yard freestyle.

Celine Rayan has always had a love for swimming, as she has been swimming since she was two years old, and doing private lessons before attending West.

“Ever since I started swimming, being a swimmer has been my passion,” Rayan said, “So when I found out about Niles West swimming, I thought sure why not? Let’s try it out, and if I didn’t like it, I won’t do it for the next 4 years. But after competing, I decided sure why not.”

Being a new team member of West’s swim team, Rayan is sure to bring strong team spirit, “I try to support my team the best that I can,” Rayan said.

Rayan is determined to continue being a part of the swim team for her next three years of high school in hopes of participating in more future competitions.”I did the 50 freestyle and I did the 100 free style, for this year. Hopefully next year, I can participate in more events,” Rayan said.

A goal of Rayan’s is to grow and get better by focusing on the exercises she struggles with, rather than the ones she knows she has perfected. “I spend most of my time working on my position and speed,” Rayan said.

Rayan credits part of her success to the support her parents have shown her. “They highly encouraged me. They would say ‘Just do your thing, do what you love. just try it for this year’. I’m glad I listened to them because this is how far I have gotten to making it to state. Making new friends, having a ball with my coach, it’s just amazing,” Rayan said.

Since it’s her first year competing for the swim team, Rayan is pleased with the wonderful experiences she has gained with her team. Rayan feels safe with the Niles West Swim team, especially with her coach and teammates. Competitions can stir pressure, but with the support of her coach and teammates, Rayan has maintained her confidence. “I have never competed like this before, this is my first time competing. I’ve been so blessed to have this team, and my coach,” Rayan said.

Rayan’s teammates are also pleased to have her, and admire her motivation for the sport. “She is always motivating everyone and keeping the energy up,” senior Sydney Dao said. “Whenever people are upset, you can count on Celine to listen and cheer them up. Shes always making sure everyone is included and I enjoy seeing how quickly she bonds with everyone.”

Head Girl’s Swim Coach Kristin Kowalczuk, has been delighted to coach Rayan, always supporting her during practices and swim meets. “Celine had a great season. She set goals for herself and has worked hard to reach them. At the state meet, she swam 55.40 seconds, reaching her goal and dropping 6 seconds. In the 100 freestyle, she also dropped another 6 seconds. We are so proud of her,” Kowalczuk said.

Rayan is overjoyed by her progress and effort into this season’s competition and events, and is excited and prepared to participate in more events in the future.