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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Pair of freshmen making a splash

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Saturday’s swim meet played host to Senior Day against the LSU Tigers at the Student Recreation Center, but two freshmen have already shown signs that the success of the A&M swimming and diving program will continue in years to come.
In the last two weeks, freshmen swimmers Mauro Castillo and Brock Bonetti have earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on their way to a No. 16 ranking for the program.
“It’s nice to get recognized for that kind of stuff and see that people actually care about swimming a little bit more than sometimes is put out there,” Bonetti said. “It definitely helps us train harder. It was nice to follow [Castillo up] because we got to take [the weekly honors] two weeks in a row.”
Castillo said they are already planning what times they hope to beat.
Bonetti has plans to set records in both the 100 and 200 backstroke while the duo wants to help break the 200 and 400 medley school-records. Castillo has already began to make his mark in College Station.
Just days after making his intentions known, Castillo set a school-record Saturday against the Tigers in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:55.65.
Bonetti claimed victory over the SEC opponent as well with a 48.69 in the 100 back.
“We recruited both of those guys knowing they could come in and make an impact for us,” said men’s head coach Jay Holmes. “They did just that. The day they walked on campus I think they made us a better team.”
Holmes highlighted the previous successes of other Mexican breaststrokers at A&M and feels that Castillo fits that mold. Like many of the student-athletes at Texas A&M, Castillo said he feeds off the energy of the 12th Man.
“I enjoy seeing people keep up with the A&M swimming family,” Castillo said. “We are working hard to make the sport more prestigious. I enjoy the environment and the traditions. A lot of Mexican swimmers have swam here and I feel like I can be myself at Texas A&M.”
Looking forward, Holmes said success in the freshman group now is a good sign for the future.
“We needed a good freshman class,” Holmes said. “[Bonetti and Castillo] are a big part of that. We needed our freshmen to be good right now. We didn’t have time to wait.”
With a roster loaded with talent and more to follow thanks to strong recruiting, Holmes’ program is poised for continued success going forward. Bonetti said weekly honors are nice, but the team is focused on bigger, long-term goals.
“Everyone is stepping up and swimming really fast,” Bonetti said. “We are going to keep building. We have a good class coming in next year as well. It’s going to be really fun to see us rise up.”
Weekly conference swimming and diving honors are announced every Tuesday by the SEC.

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