Swimming and diving starts out slow, hopes to grow with new swimmers

Sports

The boys and girls swimming and diving team are getting ready to kick into full gear this season with three meets under their belts.

The boys team, which consisted of a very talented group of nine seniors last year, only consists of three seniors this year, so the majority of the swimmers on the team this year are underclassmen.

This puts great emphasis  on working hard and improving the small things in each young swimmer’s techniques.

“I don’t want them to work hard badly; it’s good to slow down,” Head Coach Alex Kraus said. “I would like people to get more confident, swimming longer and different races more intensely.”

Coach Kraus encourages the boys to want to succeed and is ready to have a successful season. This year, the boys captains are seniors Ellis Winfree and Thomas Betts.

The boys’ first meet was on Wednesday, Nov. 28, away at Hopkins School. It was a close loss with a score of 93-85. On Saturday, Dec. 1, they swam home at Trinity College against Wilbraham and Monson Academy, resulting in a win.

In both meets Winfree swam impressive 50-frees and junior Jamie Amell swam an impressive 100 yard breaststroke.

The girls team is optimistic for the season with their numbers up. After losing two very key seniors the team gained four new young and talented swimmers. The team this year has no seniors, so it is a very young team, and only two out of the 12 members are upperclassmen.

This year the focus for the season is also to work on individual swimmers’ techniques by training hard and practicing a lot of aerobic and stroke work.

Head Coach Kata Baker wants the girls to strive individually this year and achieve personal goals. This year the sole captain of the team is junior Esha Shrivastav.

The girls traveled alongside the boys in both the Wednesday meet and the Saturday meet. Although the girls lost in both meets, they kept their head held high.

“The goal of any swim season is that everyone ends with some best times,” Coach Baker said. “We don’t really pay attention to winning meets, although we hope to. The nature of an individual sport is improving individually, and trying new events.” During these meets freshman Ali Wildstein had two impressive races in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.

Both teams went to the KO Invitational at Trinity College on Saturday, Dec. 8, which consisted of seven different teams.

“Everyone worked really hard,” junior Marwynn Somridhivej said. “This meet is designed to have a fun competition before break.”

Junior Nick Traver said that everyone was supportive of one another and it was a great team atmosphere.

“Even when people were really tired, they still cheered on their teammates,” Traver said.

This year’s KO invitational came at an unfortunate time, as there was a large regional meet for year-round swimmers up at MIT, which means the team was missing key swimmers such as Amell, Wildstein, and eighth-grader Maggie Dwyer.

Since these critical swimmers were missing, people had to step up, and they did. Betts did a great job replacing Amell in all of his events and the relays.

Most importantly, a lot of swimmers had season bests and personal bests. Junior distance swimmer Ben Zamstein shaved off ten seconds on his 500 freestyle time, giving him confidence going into the second half of the season.

Both teams will swim against Northfield Mount Hermon School on Wednesday, Jan. 9, where many are hoping that their hard work in Florida will pay off and contribute to personal bests.