Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Bulldog Times

Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Athletes of Ayala: Riley and Daniella Stabio

After+one+of+their+many+races+at+Mount+SAC%2C+Daniella+%28left%29+and+Riley+%28right%29+Stabio+pose+in+celebration+of+another+successful+win.+With+many+years+of+experience+in+competitions+like+these%2C+both+sisters+were+able+to+swim+for+Varsity+in+the+State+CIFs+as+freshmen+last+year.
Riley Stabio
After one of their many races at Mount SAC, Daniella (left) and Riley (right) Stabio pose in celebration of another successful win. With many years of experience in competitions like these, both sisters were able to swim for Varsity in the State CIF’s as freshmen last year.

Envision stepping out in a thin layer as the winter breeze whips around the deck. After a long day of classes, the icy water sloshing around your legs awakens your lethargic mind as you step into the pool for what is probably the thousandth time. Once entirely submerged under the water, you swim from one end of the pool to the other until practice ends and you return home with little time to complete your homework and projects; you may even have to wake up early in order to squeeze in a practice tomorrow morning. Now, imagine repeating this routine almost daily for more than ten years.

Though this process may seem tedious, this is the typical schedule familiar to twins Riley and Daniella Stabio (10) from the varsity swim team. Since their parents signed them up for swim classes at the age of five, both sisters have been working diligently to achieve their goals and perform nothing but their best at both practices and races. Last year, Riley and Daniella were two of the only freshman Bulldogs who swam in the 2023 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) swim meet, a playoff-formatted tournament for highest-excelling swimmers.

“It was cool to be able to go to such a high level,” said Daniella Stabio when asked about her CIF experience. “But it’s what I’ve tried to work [towards] for so many years so I could just get into this level right away when I got into high school.”

Making it to CIF – or simply the varsity team, for that matter – as a freshman is no easy accomplishment. While Riley and Daniella are constantly challenged by coaches and teammates, the primary obstacle they face is themselves. 

After more than 10 years of swimming together, both sisters continue to find passion and joy in the sport while pursuing their high school career as student-athletes.

After the years of repetition the Stabios have dedicated, commitment, despite its simplicity, is one of the greatest hurdles for them. As swimming is considered an independent sport, it can be extremely difficult for those without the proper motivation. There may be days when swimmers are exhausted, yet must resist the temptations of skipping practice or performing without effort. Fortunately, these sisters are able to navigate through these struggles with each other’s support.

“It helps having a little built-in buddy with you when you don’t know anybody going into the swim team, or just in the school in general,” Daniella Stabio said. “It’s just nice to have a person to cheer you on wherever you go because she’s the same level.”

Her sister, Riley, added onto the benefits of their relationship when it comes to sports.

“When you don’t want to go to practice but your sister’s going to go to practice, you’re like, ‘Oh man well I can’t not go to practice if [she’s] going to practice and not me,’” Riley Stabio said. “It drives you to be better because you don’t want your sister to beat you. It’s like competition.”

Despite their hectic schedule, Riley and Daniella still manage to fill in spare time with several activities. Outside of school, both sisters swim for Brea Aquatics, which trains at Mt. San Antonio College, and are also a part of a non-profit group that practices ethnic German dancing every Monday. Though their extracurriculars are closely aligned with each other, the Stabio twins have relatively different characteristics.

“Daniella can be very creative. She’s definitely very artistic and she loves arts and crafts, and I feel like that’s something that not a lot of people see in her. Riley is very funny and comedic; she’s sometimes very slow to things and it makes her extremely funny cause she just makes the whole situation better and always puts a smile on everyone’s face,” said freshman Allison Nakamura, a close childhood friend and neighbor to the Stabios.

Amid their contrasting traits, Riley and Daniella have learned to grow in all aspects of their life with the help of each other’s assistance and can both be described as nothing but hard working.

The battle of balancing personal life, school work, and swim can be challenging. In order to strive towards the next level of success, it takes having a purpose and intention to drive them to their achievements.

“My goal for this year is to swim an individual event at CIF,” Riley Stabio said. “This season, I’m excited to get closer to my friends and people who are new to the swim team.”



1
View Comments (1)
Donate to Bulldog Times
$235
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ruben S. Ayala High School's Bulldog Times. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs and purchase equipment.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kaylani Hsu, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylani Hsu (9) is a writer and reporter for The Bulldog Times, and this is her first year on the staff. Kaylani looks forward to meeting new people, expanding her knowledge in writing, and helping with growing the Journalism team. Her goal is to inform as many students as possible about current affairs, and aspires to one day secure a high ranking position in the class. While working as part of the staff, Kaylani is also part of the girl’s frosh volleyball team and hopes to join as many clubs as possible throughout her high school career. Kaylani enjoys eating almost any kind of food, dancing and (trying) to sing, and hanging out with her close friends.
Donate to Bulldog Times
$235
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All Bulldog Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Theresia HypesMar 16, 2024 at 12:55 pm

    Awesome young ladies and so proud of their accomplishments in and out of the pool. Blessed to call them my “ GREAT NIECES”, because they are. -;)

    Reply