By Austin Denton | Editor In Chief

This past weekend in La Cueva athletics belonged to the girls swim team.

On Saturday and Sunday, two girls swimmers made their commitments to Division I swimming programs, greatly furthering their athletic and academic careers.

Photo collage of Natalie Jones and Chrysten Pacheco. Collage by author, Photo Courtesy: Jones and Pacheco

Chrysten Pacheco announced her commitment Saturday to swim at the University of Houston. The Cougars swim program last season received votes in the Top 25 coaches poll, ranked 37th officially, and competed against plenty of strong programs in the NCAA last season. “I could tell that the coaches of UH were very caring and had the same goals I did,” Pacheco told The Edition about choosing Houston. “They’re all great people and a team I would love to get to train with every day.”

Pacheco had plenty of thank you’s to dish out to all of the people who helped her throughout the process. “I would like to thank everyone who had anything to do with my process. (And) to the teachers and faculty who were patient with me when I had competitions or visits, and who would always ask how swimming was going,” she said. “Lastly, my family, for helping me on this journey and for doing everything they could so I could have this opportunity.”

Pacheco also paid thanks to her coaches, club coach Doug Forbes, and high school coach, the late Vince Sanchez, for their support and encouragement throughout her career.

Just one day later, Natalie Jones announced her commitment to swim for the University of Arkansas. The Razorbacks had their fair share of competition last season, even defeating 20th-ranked Missouri early in the regular season.

“I grew up in the south, so finding out an SEC school wanted me on their program was super exciting,” said Jones. “I cannot express how grateful I am to my friends, family, coaches, and fellow swimmers when it comes to helping me make this huge decision. I do wish Vince (Sanchez) was here to see this, but I know he’s smiling down and yelling at me not to breathe off the walls from heaven.”

Even though these two close friends will be separated at the end of the year as they head off to their respective colleges, there is a chance that these two can reunite. Both the Arkansas and Houston swimming programs have met each other the past few years, and will once again meet this season to compete against each other.

The La Cueva swim season begins with the first day of practice on October 29th.