Swim-Sational Seniors

Favorite moments from seniors on the swim team

Swimmers, take your mark. Go!  Who can you find diving into the chilly waters after school every day, swimming for two hours straight, struggling to breathe through their eightieth lap, and rewarded when finished with hair freezing on the journey back to their car? The answer is fifty girls on the WCA Varsity Swim and Dive team.  What drives these girls to keep coming back to the pool deck? What makes all the physical labor pay off?

On a typical day, the swim team meets on the pool deck at 3:20 to complete a dry land workout. Then, the coaches talk about upcoming swim events and pray with the team.  The workout is always structured by the coaches, but each lane sets their own pace during practice. Even with such a large team, each member swims in at least one event per meet, so everyone must put forth their best effort at practice.

This year, WCA had nine seniors on the Varsity Swim and Dive team. Below, they share some experiences from the team and what has made them return to the pool year after year.

“I come back every year because the team has a special community and we are all one big family,” said Kaitlin Tershak, senior.

The team had quite a successful year, and each member ended their season with a positive attitude.

“The best thing I learned was the value in not comparing yourself to others. I had the most fun when I swam for other people and for my own self-improvement,” said MaryGrace Barber, senior.

Despite challenging practices, the swimmers found ways to make their time more light-hearted.

“My lane, which we called the ‘Fancy Four,’ would always coordinate synchronized swim dances, swim like mermaids, and ‘scuba dive’, where we would go to the deep end of the pool when coach wasn’t looking and dive down to the bottom,” said Barber.

Seniors Avery Iven and Izzy Haupfear have enjoyed their last year diving for the team. Amidst the tough mental demands of diving, the coaches have helped the girls grow and learn more about life.

“Most rewarding is the feeling you get when you’re underwater after you’ve just hit your toughest dive yet, and you know it was a success,” said Haupfear.

“I’ve learned I do a lot better when I focus on having fun instead of my performance,” said Iven. Iven broke the school record for diving, qualified for state, and finished 19th place overall at state!

Being coached by Coach Kehr and Coach Kempen has also been extremely rewarding for the swimmers.

“The team is like one big family. The coaches are so encouraging and keep the team atmosphere both fun and competitive. I love this team and I’m going to miss it when I leave!” said Haley Weinberg, senior.

Lauren Massot finished her swimming career at WCA with a huge splash, finishing 8th and medaling in the 100 Backstroke. She also placed 10th in the 200 IM and broke the school record!

“I have learned that though swimming is partly an individual sport, it ts so much more rewarding if you swim for the success of the team, not for your own personal gain,” said Massot, senior.

For some, the swimming experience has meant learning a flip turn for the first time or doing something they never imagined physically possible.  For others, it has involved years of having their head underwater for hours each week, inching seconds closer to goals. But for all, the WCA swim team equals family, fun, and endearing friendships.