Swim seeks continued success


Atoms swimmers Ashley Holcolmb, Maya Mann, Jana Russell and Madison Cruz dive off of the starting block in the 2020 District Finals.

Comradery. Skill. Hardwork. These are all things that AHS swim will lean on for a successful 2021 season.
The Atoms swim season is set to kick off this Friday, Dec. 3.
The Atoms will face off in a highly anticipated matchup against the Lewis Lancers on Friday night, in what will be the first of their seven meet season.
AHS swim finished strong in 2020, with both the boys and girls teams finishing second in Districts, a drastic improvement from years prior.
“A lot of our team was able to achieve individual successes, which led to us achieving success as a group,” sophomore Colin Mcgee said. “I was able to drop a lot of time and place well at both districts and regionals. I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and look forward to new challenges this season,” Mcgee said.
The team will return the majority of it’s swimmers this season, despite the losses of a few seniors including Ethan Ayers, T.J. Hutnan and Madison Cruz.
Talented freshmen for both the boys and girls will have to step up into those empty spaces, as they will play a crucial role in the level of success for the program this season.
“Our younger swimmers came in ready to work and they seem enthusiastic about the process and competing in score meets,” head coach Carmen Lucas said. “They’ve done a great job pushing each other and the other seasoned athletes at practice.”
A key emphasis of the team heading into this season has been team bonding. Every Friday after school leading up to the first competition, the team has held a meeting after school to participate in a number of activities and games to build comradery between the swimmers.
Games including “the floor is lava” and “human knot,” all in an effort to work on team building.
“The team bonding activities were something we missed as a team last year with the Covid restrictions, although the activities may seem silly, they help our team learn each other’s names and help us cheer loud for each other at meets,” Lucas said.
There were many restrictions from the VHSL, FCPS and FCPA last season for the Atoms, limiting the team to stay 10 feet apart in the water and six feet apart on the swim deck at all times.
The team also did not have a team bus on the way to practice and meets last season, all athletes had to provide their own transportation which didn’t allow them to connect and get ready to compete.
“The kids can have a real team area again, be cheered on by their team captains and have bus karaoke on the team bus on our way to meets,” Lucas said.
AHS will be put to the test over the course of their season, with seven meets that lead up to the district tournament in January and the regional finals in February.
“I hope that I can continue to drop time and make it to the regional finals, and as a team I hope to have a winning season for both the boys and girls,” junior Olivia Cruz said.
With the team bonding activities to help foster relationships between the upperclassmen and underclassmen, an influx of new talent and returning veterans, Atoms swim looks to take home a district championship.