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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Winter Warriors: A Flurry of District and State Champs

As the winter sports season comes to a close, many athletes compete at the next level in district and state championships. Multiple athletes not only competed at the district level, but also placed high enough to attend state championships and represent the Phoenix on the big stage.
Shivu Sathe
The 2023-2024 winter sports athletes competed in their respective district, regional, and state events.

Throughout the month of February, Phoenix athletes get the opportunity to compete in the region and state finals for their respective sports. “Districts means a lot to me and it’s something I look forward to every year,” junior Nishi Potluri said. “It’s really cool to be with a bunch of the best swimmers in our district.”

Athletes from multiple sports had the opportunity to qualify for regionals throughout the regular season and qualify for states during regionals. For strictly team sports like basketball, certain athletes made first and second team from the Dulles district as their recognition of effort over the season.

Freshman Ali Takach

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Q: What sport do you play, and how did your teammates do during states? 

A: I’m on the swim team. The team did really well at states. The boys did really well [and] ranked top five, and the girls also did well. This is my first year [as a high school swimmer] but I’m also a competitive swimmer.

Q: How did you do individually?

A: Good. I dropped a lot of time and I made regional cuts. I also got district champ in the [two hundred freestyle]. 

Q: What was the experience like competing?

A: It was [fun]. I was trying to make a cut time for regionals and my entire team was there supporting me, along with the coaches.

Q: What goes into the prep of preparing for regionals and states? What was the hardest part?

A: It’s a lot of training, in and out of the water. Making sure you’re focused at practice and not slacking off, and eating healthy and being in the right mindset. [For me, eating healthy was the hardest part.] It’s a lot of protein and carbs.

Junior Lilia Jones

Q: What sport do you play? How did you do at districts?

A: I do track. I got first place in the fifty-five and the four-by-two.

Q: What was your experience like?

A: It was really fun. I got to hang out with my friends and we all got to run together. [We also] all beat our personal records and did our best.

Q: Was this your first time at districts?

A: I’ve made districts for the past two years. It was more of an experience for the younger people because I got to help them [throughout it].

Q: Was it any different?

A: It’s definitely different every year. Schools get moved in and out of our district, but it’s the same races and experiences.

Q: What goes into the preparation for it?

A: Definitely months of training, hand off practice. We have premeets before every meet so we get to do our individual workouts and techniques [so we] can be sharp for the meet.

Q: What was the hardest part of the preparation for it?

A: Working out a lot and getting to know the people that you’re running with. You have to be comfortable with them, you run together and you do stuff outside of school together. You have to be close so you can do your best.

Junior Neel Chethan

Q: What sport do you play? How did you do at districts?

A: I swim and placed well at districts, [1st place in 100 Freestyle and 1st in 100 Backstroke,] and states, [4th in 100 Freestyle.]

Q: What was your experience like?

A: It was like any other meet, loud and fast.

Q: Was this your first time at districts?

A: No, this was my third time going to districts and states and it was really similar to last year. 

Q: What goes into the preparation for it?

A: For prep, I swim around 7500 yards on average per day.

Q: What was the hardest part of the preparation for it?

A: It is just waking up at 4 a.m. every morning and staying motivated. 

Q: What was your favorite memory from the experience?

A: It was when our state team had dinner all together.

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About the Contributors
Shivu Sathe
Shivu Sathe, News Editor
Shivu Sathe is a valued member of staff, always fast and efficient when it comes to editing articles in her role as News Editor. She’s always liked writing, so it was no surprise that she found a home in newspaper and journalism. Although she’s already beginning to prepare for her life as a college student, she enjoys staying active and up to date in terms of what’s going on around Rock Ridge as part of The Blaze.
Maya Coleman
Maya Coleman, Business Manager
Maya Coleman is a junior and this is her second year on “The Blaze.” She is the Business Manager and is excited for another year on the school newspaper! Ever since she was younger, she’s loved to write, and it’s something she believes she will always be very passionate about. She is a part of Rock Ridge Sings as another elective, and in her free time she enjoys reading books, watching movies, and hanging out with her friends.
Danielle Kimpson Kaley
Danielle Kimpson Kaley, Staff Writer
Danielle is a sophomore and this is her first year on staff. In her free time, she loves sleeping whenever she gets the chance. She also watches anime and recently finished “Chainsaw Man,” and enjoys playing the guitar, which she has been doing for six years. She enjoys all genres of music, except country, and her favorite album is “HOPE” by NF. While her favorites change a lot, they have a very similar vibe. Danielle's mom is the reason she joined the newspaper. When her mom found out about “The Blaze,” she was so excited and encouraged Danielle to join the paper.

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