Swim and dive hopes to spear the Spartans

The AHS Swim team prepared for the first meet of the season on Dec. 4th. The team had a lot to work on to get ready for this meet, but the question was still in the air about who would fill the spots of the talented senior swimmers from last year.
Before performing at the meet , Senior Aaron Boyd had something to say about how they were getting prepared, “We are working on our sprinting as well as our distance.” When asked about how he expected the first meet to go he had said, “I expect the performance to be alright considering it’s the first week and as a team we haven’t worked much on starts.”
Many athletes had different goals and hopes for themselves as individuals to reach during the first meet, including freshman Katie Pope. “My goal is to swim a long distance event successfully since I’ve never done that because I’ve only done summer swim before” Pope said.
Another freshmen with high hopes, Abby Reynolds, prepared to swim at the meet by focusing on what she sees as the hardest parts of swimming. She hoped that by working on her turn technique, that she would have an advantage going into the first meet.
“I’ve been focusing on my fly kick because when you swim free, back, and fly you do fly kick when you’re underwater when you start or when you are at the end other end of the pool doing your turn” Reynolds said when asked about how she had been practicing.
    When asked about what she had hoped to achieve time wise she had said, “I hope to get a fast time for a 50 meter butterfly and a fast time for a 50 meter backstroke” said Reynolds.
She had also said her team had been preparing hard and was ready to perform as best as they could at the meet. “I think we are ready for the meet because we have all been working hard at the pool and in practice.”
“We have had enough time to prepare. We have been working hard and we are ready for competitive races.” Senior Ashley Britton tells us as she thinks the team has spent enough practicing time in the water.
Although it was the first meet without some of the team’s graduated seniors, the team still hoped to pull through. “Even though we are a very small team I hope we all do well and the main thing is to have fun this season,” Sophomore Lennon Wuhrer said. She said that she felt she had enough time to practice and she had been consistently working on “regaining endurance through swim practice and running alone, wearing tights during practice to give extra drag.”
With competition being tough this season, the AHS Swim team had to go the extra mile to achieve their goals. “The competition is going to be pretty tough. We are facing the defending 5a state champions Thomas Jefferson and a pretty decent South County team.” Boyd said.
Boyd isn’t the only one who thinks competition will be tough this season. “In the Patriot Conference our biggest competitors will be West Springfield, Woodson, and Lake Braddock.” Britton says. When she was asked about her personal goals this first meet she said, “I want to start off right now where I ended last season. Best times in all my races is what I always aim for.”
With the swim team having new swimmers join, and having star swimmers graduated, the team had to work harder to make sure everyone adjusted with the new team size and routine. “At this point during the season, my goal is to not drown. I will do as best as I can in my current state.” Junior Gabe Martino said.
Another factor in how well the team performed was how much time they spent practicing in the water and out of the water. With some members not attending as many practices as they should, this weakened the team as a whole going into the meet. “Not everyone has been to all the practices. I know some people won’t have as much endurance as others.” Boyd said.
Another obstacle that held the team back was not knowing what events each person would swim. “We’re pretty prepared fitness wise,”  Pope said. “We’re all pretty much back in shape, but we have no idea what events we’re swimming yet.”
Doing well during the first meet was a hard goal to achieve for the AHS Swim team as most of the athletes had not touched the water since the previous season.
“We have been practicing hard every day. Pushing ourselves to get back into shape for the season is our main goal right now,” Martino said. “I don’t think we will be as good as we can be by the first meet, a lot of us are out of shape and have not been in the water since the summer. We will definitely get better as the year goes on.”