Just keep swimming through the season


As the winter season sports teams begin competing with other schools, the school’s swim team is off to a strong start. On December 1, the first meet of the season, the boys took a decisive win against McLean while the girls performed well for this point in the season.

The swim team’s next meet, which coaches have high hopes for, is scheduled for December 15. “I had a great time at the meet,” sophomore Adi Kambhampaty said. “I am new to the team but I love the atmosphere and encouragement I get from them already.”

After they put up this solid of a performance in just their first meet, the swim team looks to be in good shape for the future. To many team members, this is a great opportunity for the team to build on the potential of the new members. “I think the team looks pretty strong this year, especially the boys,” sophomore Zi Rattelman said. “We had some fast freshmen come in that make up for losing some of our top swimmers who graduated last year.”

New recruits to the swim team appreciate the support that they get from those on the team with more experience. The friendships built between members of the swim team result out of mutual respect and encouragement. “My favorite thing about being on the team is the great community that is built around it,” Kambhampaty said. “It is a circle of people who want to help you meet your goals and get better.”

Older members acknowledge their pride in the environment that they have created on the team. Every year, returning members come back and try to welcome new members in the way that they were welcomed onto the team themselves.“I enjoy being on the team,”  Rattelman said. “The swim team creates a fun community where everyone is being pushed to do their best, which is amazing.”

The structure of team practices is very methodical and organized, allowing team members to both work on the events that they are already good at and will be competing in as well as events that they are less at ease with. For some members, this is another reason why they feel so satisfied being on the team “Each day of the week at practice is different,” Rattelman said. “For example, Monday is long distance freestyle, Tuesday is long distance individual medley, etc. Because of the organized practice schedule everyone is able to train their events, and is pushed to train for events that may not be within their comfort zone. Everyday, when I get out of the pool, I feel accomplished and like I have had a good workout, which for me, is what swimming is all about.”

The swim team seems to be very optimistic about the season to come and what the team will be able to achieve. However, they are also eager to let students at the school know what the team is really about. “Everyone should join swim team! No skill is required,” Rattelman said. “We even have a secret swimmer program which allows swimmers to bond. Throughout the season, you are assigned a swimmer to bring small tokens to each meet for, and at the end of the season you reveal who you are. Essentially, much of what we prioritize and do is a team bonding exercise.”