For the girls and boys swimming and diving teams, the month of February can feel especially long. The teams endures numerous meets in addition to practices becoming even more grueling. Nonetheless, the teams finished their seasons strong, gaining confidence before heading into the major meets of the season.
The girls team finished their season with a 4-6 record, a significant improvement from their 1-11 record last season. The boys team posted a .500 record for the season, concluding dual meets with a 5-6 record.
The waning months of the season give a good indication of how the respected swim teams will perform at New Englands, especially for the boys team which are in the position to compete at New Englands.
The Wyverns swam against Williston Northampton School on Saturday, Feb. 1. Williston Northampton is the favorite to win New Englands for the boys this season, and Williston’s girls team placed second in New Englands the previous year.
The girls lost this meet with a score of 99-79, while the boys lost 95.5-84.5. Senior Will Layden placed first in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Senior Jamie Amell also placed first in the 100 breastroke.
The girls team also showed the strength of their Middle School program as sixth-grader Abby Wildstein, and seventh-grader Jo Meghan helped the girls team in both individual events and relays.
After these tough losses, Kingswood Oxford traveled to Kent School on Wednesday, Feb. 5, where both the boys and girls teams had dominating wins.
The girls and boys teams won with scores of 86-71 and 98-74 respectively. Sophomore Allie Wildstein won both the 200 and 500 yard freestyles, and sophomore Stella Risinger won the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
On the boys side, the Wyverns won every single event. The boys also placed second in a majority of events, and obtained the three top places on multiple occasions. The Wyverns also sweeped diving as both freshman Eli Brandt and freshman Charlotte Eberle placed first.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Wyverns hosted St. George’s School. The girls team fell short, losing 97-78 and the boys team won 102-82.
Senior Co-captain Cai Kuivila and Layden captured first place in the 50 yard freestyles. The boys team won this match on account of their depth, as despite St. George having a few exceptional swimmers, the Wyverns were able to place third (in addition to first or second) in most events.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Wyverns traveled to Westminster School. The girls team lost 90-82, while the boys team lost 94-86. The girls swam a strong 500 freestyle, as junior Co-captain Risha Ranjan and Risinger finished first and second.
The boys team was competitive from the start, as the opening medley relay composed of Layden, Amell, junior captain Walter Kraus, and senior Ben Zamstein broke the record for the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.81. Layden swam in the next event, winning the 200 freestyle and junior Felix Fei posted his first sub two minute time in this race. Amell also won the 100 breastroke and the boys team placed first in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
“This is a great indication for New Englands,” senior Co-captain Marwynn Somridhivej said. “It’s going to be close and we’re going to be ready.”
KOSD ended their season with their senior day against Hamden Hall Country Day School on Saturday, Feb. 15. The day started with a ceremony for the team’s nine seniors. The girls team ended their season with a 63-26 victory while the boys team lost by a score of 93-83. The girls team won every single event except the 100 breastroke. The boys team faced the probable D-3 champions, and were in it until the very end. If one or two more events had falled the Wyvern’s way, then KO would have won.
The swim team traveled to Miss Porter’s School on Saturday, Feb. 29, for the Founder’s meet. The teams that KO competes against in Founders are Loomis, Choate, Hotchkiss, Westminster, Kent, AOF, Ethel Walker, and Miss Porters.
However, the diving competition took place a few days earlier on Wednesday Feb. 26, and Brandt started the Wyverns off on the right track, taking first place over the course of his impressive 11 dives, setting a record for the first time a KO diver has ever won the competition.
In the swimming portion of the meet, the girls team placed eighth while the boys team placed fifth. The boys team compiled three medals, two gold medals by Layden in the 100 freestyle and backstroke, and one bronze medal in the 200 freestyle relay composed of Marwynn Somridhivej, Marrich Somridhivej, Kraus, and senior Co-captain Nick Traver.
Overall, many swimmers set new personal records. Zamstein dropped over half a second in his 100 butterfly and 10 seconds in his 500 freestyle. Freshman Mason Zimmer saw an eight second drop in his 100 breastroke. “For some people, this was their last meet,” Marwynn Somridhivej said. “And for everyone else, we have one more chance.”
KOSD is preparing for New England Championships, which will take place on Saturday, Mar. 7, in Vermont.