CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Incarnate Word Academy is heading back to the TAPPS State Swimming Championships February 8 in San Antonio.
They are no strangers to advancing to state despite the many challenges they face every year.
"We don't have a pool of our own and we are blessed to have Del Mar College to allow us to rent their facility," said longtime IWA swim coach Mic Nelson.
Swimmers must practice early in the day from 6:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. so they can make it to school on time. IWA is also limited to when they can practice.
"During the holidays when the university is shutdown we have no place to practice," said coach Nelson.
Still, the team overcame the challenges and are state-bound, including 14-year-old freshman Valentina Misimblat. She lives in Alice and her parents drive her to school every day. With an extra early morning practice on the agenda, she admits there are some days when she wants to get some extra sleep.
"Yes, I definitely have some of those days, but I think I get through them because I know it will pay off at state," said Misimblat. "That moment you get out of the pool and look at the scoreboard and maybe you didn't place but you know every time you wake up and go to practice it was well worth it."