Swimming to the Top- Zaidian Van Orden


Courtesy of PAHS

Junior Zaidian Van Orden practices his swim events at the Ned Hamford Natatorium. Van Orden puts in countless hours of working on his strokes into his practice. He said, “In the off season for swim, I still have practice. This gives me the advantage over the kids who do not practice in the off season to get better.”

Many swimmers who are a part of Schuylkill County swim teams recognize the name Zaidian Van Orden. Van Orden recently defeated the 100 Freestyle with a time of 48.88 and the 200 Free record with a time of 1:49.09 while competing at the Ned Hampford Natatorium.

“It felt amazing to break those records and I’m hoping to be able to successfully break them again next year,” said Van Orden.

Van Orden was also selected as the Schuylkill League Student Athlete of the Week because of his hard work during the swim season and for breaking two swim records. He received the top percentage out of three other athletes chosen to be in the poll. Tamaqua’s Brayden Knoblauch, Panther Valley’s Erika Zimmerman, and Minersville’s Alex Krusnuskie were also the Schuylkill Athletes nominated for the poll.

Even though people know Zaidian as natural born swimmer, hours upon hours of off-season training are needed for every athlete. By doing this endurance is built up for the following season.

Van Orden said, “In the off season for swim I still have practice. This gives me the advantage over the kids who do not practice in the off season to get better.”

Working under pressure for him isn’t a sweat. Being an athlete, coaches put pressure on Zaidian to do his best and succeed.
Van Orden said, “I feel like I work under pressure very well. I’m kind of used to it because I work faster under pressure.”

Coach Mr. Ned Hamford said, “ Zaidian has steadily improved through his career and this season is no different. Comparing his times to last season’s times tells me that he is on track to break at least three school records. With the league, district and PIAA Championship meets in the near future. We are optimistic that Zaidian will perform admirably in the post-season. The entire coaching staff is proud of Zaidian’s accomplishments and the leadership he provides to our team.”