By John Philip Wyllie
Three years ago as a freshman, Bonita Vista senior Sasha Beltran made a big splash in the Baron pool. She has gone on to become one of the finest Baron freestylers in recent memory. Now a senior, she is looking to cap what has been a brilliant career by paring her already excellent time down even further. Joining her this year in the pool is her younger sister Monique. A 100-meter butterfly specialist, the younger Beltran has the same determination and drive as her older sister. Together, they pack a powerful one-two punch for coach, Steve Wiggs.
“They are definitely our number one and number two swimmers. Having them on this team gives the other girls something to work up to and somebody to follow. Both of them are very mental swimmers and they get very involved in their races. That is what sets them apart from a lot of other athletes. They are different in that Monique swims the butterfly and Sasha is a freestyler, but they both have that same determination.”
Something else they have in common happened south of the border.
“A few years ago I got to (represent Baja California) and swim in the Mexican nationals in Guadalajara. A couple years ago it was Monique’s turn to go.”
“In 2005, I represented Baja California (at the Olympiada) in Veracruz. I came back with three second places and three thirds. I swam the 100m breaststroke, the 200m breaststroke, the 100m butterfly and the100 Individual Medley.” Like her older sister, Monique is now concentrating on doing her part to secure a league banner for the Barons.
There is no room for sibling rivalry.
“Monique has her own stroke and I have mine, so we really don’t compete against each other. Being sisters, it probably wouldn’t be a very good idea. It might lead to problems at home. This way we can root for each other and we can help each other by providing feedback”
Both girls are solid students as well as superior athletes, but their strengths and interests are completely different.
Sasha, the senior, is looking at possibly swimming next year for SDSU or San Jose State. She wants to major in business and maybe one day go on to become a chief financial officer for a major corporation, either that or maybe look into engineering.
Despite being only a freshman, Monique has already decided that she would one day like to one day become a veterinarian.
To achieve such lofty goals both will need plenty of determination and drive. As top notch competitive swimmers they already have plenty of that.