North County adaptive swimmer wins high school state championship

La Costa Canyon High School freshman swimmer Sebastian Desposato won the 50 meter freestyle at the CIF State Championship meet

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The high school sports year has come to a close, but a La Costa Canyon High School freshman swimmer is reshaping what is possible and what inspiration looks like.

Competitive swimming is a physical and mental grind.

"Just going back and forth for two hours, it's not easy to do," Sebastian Desposato says.

It's even harder to do when you don't have the prototypical swimmer's body.

"I have achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism," Desposato said. "Basically, your limbs, your arms and legs are shorter."

In swimming, where so much of your success depends on using long limbs for leverage, being a little person is not ideal, unless your Desposato.

"I swim at regular La Costa Canyon High School swim meets against 6'5 guys, and I am still scoring points for my team. I'm proud of that," Desposato said.

La Costa Canyon swim coach Donald Miralle says the Carlsbad school had one of its best seasons ever thanks in part to Desposato.

"Not only because he's scoring points, but he’s inspiring kids. He’s showing kids there's no limits, and he’s getting out there and doing it," Miralle said.

After competing against standard-sized kids all season long at high school swim meets, things changed in the post season. The California Interscholastic Federation recently created an adaptive, para swimming division for the state championship meet. Desposato's times qualified him for state.

After earning the silver in the 100 meter freestyle, Desposato did even better in the 50 meter free. After grabbing an early lead, Desposato held off all challengers and touched the wall first, winning a state championship as a freshman.

"I touched the wall, looked up at the board, saw my times, and I was really happy for myself and everyone's support. It was amazing," Desposato said.

Desposato now has a two CIF state medals — a gold and a silver — which have definitely made an impact on him as a person.

"At CIF everyone was cheering me on and that boosted my moral a lot," Desposato said.

Desposato is getting faster and stronger while getting out the message that a disability doesn't limit your ability to achieve.

"Any people out there with disabilities, if you're nervous about trying a sport, just go for it and have fun. You never know what the possibilities can be. I didn't get first the first time, but I worked hard at it and was able to achieve something, so just have fun with it," Desposato said.

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