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Community Champions: Cathedral swim team reclaims state title

EL PASO, Texas - The Cathedral swim team is back on top.

On February 10, Cathedral finished first at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) state meet in San Antonio.

Cathedral has a storied history when it comes to swimming.

More than 30 state titles going all the way back to the mid-80s.

Cathedral swim coach, Calvin Zielsdorf knows all about winning state swimming titles at Cathedral.

He won four of them when he was a student at Cathedral, but it was his first state title as a coach.

"I couldn't be prouder of them they really stepped it up," Zielsdorf said. "This was the truest form of a team win."

Zielsdorf took over the program from his former coach and mentor Jack White in 2018.

The team finished in second at state in Zielsdorf's first two seasons, but his third season was the charm.

"It was a hard path to get these guys to really trust in what we were trying to do." Zielsdorf said. "After the first two second places that was really rough, but you just got to stay determined and never give up."

Zielsdor's team never wavered, and remained focused even with the uncertainty of Covid-19.

Senior Cathedral swimmer Adrian Prieto was just thankful to even have a season.

"Every single year that we lost, I would say to myself, 'my senior year I'll bring it back, my senior year I'll bring it back,' and it didn't even look like I was going to have one." Prieto said. "I definitely will always remember this. It was a really good underdog story that I will never forget for the rest of my life."

For their accomplishment, the Cathedral swim team has been named Community Champions.

Community Champions is sponsored by Albertsons and the El Paso Community Foundation.

Community Champions / High School Sports / Texas Sports

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.

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