Sensational Swimmer: Meet Justyn Grayce Moceros

Building her relationship with swimming


Gliding through the water, junior Justyn Grayce Moceros races towards the finish line. She has been swimming since she was 4. “I like how swimming is more of an individual sport,” Moceros said. “You don’t really have to rely on other people, which I really like. I don’t really like to depend on people because people usually tend to disappoint you and it’s better to just make sure that you can do things yourself.”

Yaritzza Montenegro, Staff Writer

As the water’s surface gives way, junior Justyn Grayce Moceros is hit with a wave of silence. Moceros had a difficult time retaining motivation to continue the sport, but was able to overcome most of those feelings.

“When I was around 3 or 4 years old, I almost drowned at a beach in the Philippines because my uncle fell asleep when he was supposed to be watching me,” Moceros said. “Another time when I was around the same age, I tripped and fell in the water at an outdoor pool and almost drowned again. Because of these instances, my parents enrolled me into recreational swim classes.”

Moceros started her swimming journey on a recreational team at Desert Breeze Aquatic Center. She finds being underwater as escape from her stress.

“When you’re swimming, there is this quietness that is really calming and therapeutic for me,” Moceros said. “If I am stressed with school or anything else, the water blurs everything else since you can’t hear anything and can just concentrate on doing your laps.”

Sandpipers, one of the best teams in the country, accepted her into the team. However, she did not follow through with it and swam with Team Rebel Aquatics this previous summer instead. She has also been on the Sierra Vista High School’s swim club since freshman year.

“In my freshman year my team and I went to regionals or sectionals,” Moceros said. “I remember it a lot since there were a lot of people there and it was my first big swim meet. I liked the intensity and competitiveness of it. It wasn’t like a regular swim meet where everyone doesn’t seem to really care, here everyone was cheering for each other which I thought was really cool.”

While being a club swimmer, Moceros was expected to practice 2-3 hours a day, six times a week with breaks during those practices, making it difficult for other priorities.

“Almost everyday swimming is a physical struggle because swimming uses literally every muscle in your body at such a rapid pace,” Moceros said. “Waking up the day after practice or a meet feels like there’s just weights all over your body holding you down. The soreness is definitely a downside but weirdly enough I like pain and I’ve been taught that pain shows how hard you’ve worked and come from.”

Swimming for so long, Moceros began to feel as though she was being forced to participate in the sport. 

“I would either be told that I was being lazy or it was just the beginning and that’s how it always is,” Moceros said. “At one point, going to practice would be the worst part of my day and I dreaded it. I made up excuses so I wouldn’t need to go and became a bad version of myself. My mental health was terrible, I felt drained all the time and had almost no energy left for anything.”

Sierra Vista swim team’s captain senior Leah Johnson, views her as a valuable asset to the team.

“Justyn has brought a lot of dedication and motivation,” Johnson said. “She will show up to as many practices as possible, more than most. She’s at every meet and there for all of us always. For every team relay whether she’s feeling it or not she’ll swim her hardest for the rest of us.”

Moceros has not thought about quitting entirely. Even if she didn’t continue club swimming, she would still want to compete for her zone school.

“I’d like to believe that I do have at least some passion for swimming, but there are also just other areas of my life that I’d rather focus on,” Moceros said “For example, finding time for my family and friends is definitely one of those areas that become so limited when actively participating in a sport.”