July 31, 2013 12:00 am  •  

It’s not easy being a senior-level swimmer for the Napa Valley Swim Team.

You are swimming and training and competing year-round. You are in the pool twice a day, six days a week. You are working in the weight room and doing dry-land workouts, which focus on conditioning. You are in the classroom, looking at video. You are spending around five hours each day on swimming.

Nick Meyer wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

“It’s been the best part of my life so far,” Meyer said Wednesday. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was a great experience meeting people, meeting life-long friends, learning skills. It taught me great things, like work ethic and dedication and commitment. It just gave me so many more opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t swim.”

Meyer is part of the NVST’s senior class, a very talented group of swimmers who have been with the team ranging from 5 to 12 years. As recent high school graduates, each of the six are heading off to college, with four of them planning to continue swimming.

Elise Roberts, a Napa High School graduate who holds several age-group records with the NVST, will attend UC Davis and swim for the Aggies on a scholarship.

Hayden Corley, a graduate of Justin-Siena, will go to SMU and swim for the Mustangs.

Omar Saldivar, a Vintage graduate, will attend Santa Rosa Junior College and swim for the Bear Cubs.

Ximena Mendieta, a Justin-Siena graduate, will go to Carroll College in Helena, Mont.

Elyssa Jane Erickson, a New Tech High graduate, will attend Napa Valley College.

Meyer, a Vintage graduate, will go to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and try out for the Mustangs’ swim team.

“I’m very proud of them,” said Asher Green, NVST’s head coach. “I’m going to miss each and every one of these seniors. They have helped form the character of this team over their time here. Many of them have been here almost as long as I’ve been here, which is a decade. It’s wonderful to see them go on. But it’s bittersweet. It’s not going to be the same without them.

“It’s gratifying to see the impact that swimming has had on their lives. Ten years from now, they’ll be looking back and still talking about what a great influence swimming was on their lives. I’m really glad that the team could provide that.”

The NVST offers year-round competitive swimming with professional coaching and instruction for all ages and abilities. In addition to the year-round competitive team, the NVST offers a high school preseason training program, summer swim classes and pre-competitive swimming instruction.

“I obviously love swimming, seeing as I have been on this team for so long,” said Roberts. “Probably the best choice I ever made in my life. It’s been an awesome experience and a lot of my teammates are like my family as well. The coaching staff is like my second parents.”

There are still some meets to go for these swimmers.

Roberts and Corley will swim at the Junior National Championships next week at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center, located at Heritage Park in Irvine, Calif.

They will be joined by the NVST’s Mia Facey for the meet that features the best 18-and-under swimmers from throughout the country.