The boys and girls swimming and diving teams are making big splashes in the pool as they approach the middle of the season; the boys team is led by senior Co-captains Nick Traver and Marwynn Somridhivej and junior Walter Kraus while the girls team is lead by senior Co-captains Esha Shrivastav and Cai Kuivila and junior Risha Ranjan.
The boys currently have a 3-2 record, improving with each meet as they go along in their long season. The girls have a record of 2-4 showing their improvement from last year. Both teams are looking ahead to taking on New Englands.
The Wyverns have many important meets this year, but the KO invitational on Dec. 14 challenged the boys team for the first time. They took home third place working hard all the way through the last swim.
The boys team then headed to Florida for a winter holiday training period. “The team worked hard and everyone that went benefitted,” Head Coach Alex Kraus said. The team enjoyed the warm weather, and fun team activities including Seaworld. “The Florida trip has been, is, and always will be extremely mentally and physically challenging,” W.Kraus said. The team practiced two hours in the morning and afternoon every day, leaving the evening for team building.
The trip creates great bonds within the small squad that help them push through the grueling conditioning. “The Florida trip is usually my favorite week of the year, as I get to bond and interact with the team on new levels, spending the entire day and night with them,” W.Kraus said.
The Wyverns’ most recent meet was against the Avon Old Farms Winged Beavers. Although a home meet, it was unusual to have an only male meet with no girl swimmer attendees. The girls helped prolong the meet and rest in between events. The girls also cheered the boys on and helped them push through events. Traver was a standout swimmer, swimming in the 100 and 200 freestyle.
Another standout swimmers thus far into the season is senior Jamie Amell in the breaststroke. Senior Will Layden and Kraus have been swimming in all their events very consistently. Freshman Eli Brandt has been diving well and helping the Wyverns to more wins.
The team is looking forward to a big workout next Wednesday. The team will swim for three hours and this is not an easy task. “It is a nice accomplishment once you finish,” Coach Kraus said. The boys team works very well together as many swimmers are returners. “The team chemistry is unlike any I have ever seen,’’ W. Kraus said. “It is a very stable group of swimmers and who each offset each other personality causing the team to get along very well. Personally, it is one of the places where I feel most comfortable in my own body, as well as where I feel most accepted.”
The girls team is bigger in numbers this year having a twelve girl squad. They have a great spirit, always seen cheering each other on. The girl’s record does not reflect the amount of hard work they put in each day at practice.
The girls were excited about winning the meet against Wilbraham and Monson on Dec. 7 since it shows the kind of potential the team has. The team is also very excited for Founders and New England’s at the end of the season. The girls team has also been adjusting to welcoming many new girls to team, and those girls are still finding their place among the team.
The individual meets are an accumulation of small victories focused on gradual improvement with the end goal being to put all their training towards a good show in Founders and New Englands.
The team’s most recent meet was on Saturday, Jan. 25th against Canterbury. The girls swam to victory even though they were missing some swimmers. “People swam new events and we ended up finishing top three in most of the events within the meet,” Kuivila said.
Some standout swimmers this year are Kuivila who has shown up ready for each meet, as well as sophomores Allie Wildstein and Stella Risinger who have been swimming very well. Freshman Charlotte Eberle and sophomore Ashleigh Stepnowski are learning to dive and have been doing a great job at trying their best each day. “The girls want to become stronger, get to know each other a little bit more,” Coach Kraus said.
The team goals are to have fun but to also keep working to get in shape and to keep improving every day. “We are looking forward to a championship season as a whole,” Kuivila said.
To accomplish the girls ‘goals, the team has to work hard in every practice and push themselves to become better. The team needs to push through the middle of the year and tougher harder days. The team does a lot of drill work but this is also the fun part of the year because they usually have a meet every Wednesday and Saturday.
“The team chemistry is very mixed this year since it is a diverse group of girls. Age-wise, form-wise, there are big differences,” Coach Kraus said. This has not hurt the girls as they have overcome and adapted to many challenges. The girls team is still trying their best and get along pretty well.
The team’s strengths lie in their ability to overcome challenges and to always communicate with each other. All swimmers on the team are very versatile and many can swim freestyle, but also have the ability to compete in a relay or long-distance race.
The teams have their next away meet at Westminster on Feb. 12.