A Stroke of Genius

Swimmers take the Plunge

Photo+Courtesy+of+Pastor+Phoo

Photo Courtesy of Pastor Phoo

     Winter time for many involves freezing cold weather, hot chocolate, warm blankets, and, of course, constant snow. However, for some athletes this means it’s time to go swimming: the West G swimming and diving team is the perfect example. Many of the team members join other organizations and begin their training far before the season is even approaching. This year, their season began on November 7th.

     The boys team is led by captains Ryan Gleske (senior) and Tucker Harvey (junior) and the girls are led by Kayleigh Spots (senior) and Katherine Kulp (junior). Their team is looking strong this year, as 13 of 23 swimmers are returning letter winners. Although they lost many versatile members like Abby Owens and Natalie Poremba, they still remain ready to compete with returning members, including seniors Kirstin Boni and Ryan Gleske. Last year Boni qualified to the state meet in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing 20th, and Gleske qualified to the state meet in the 50-yard freestyle and finished 15th. New members with experience who have also been training hard are freshmen Sarah Lloyd and Emma Roth, as well as Cami Goodrich who shows a lot of talent on the [diving] boards.

     This year, multiple school records were broken at the C.V.C. Swimming and Diving Championship. The meet took place at Hawken. Many top competitors from West G proved they have what it takes to be the best. Gleske finished 1st in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard breaststroke, while also setting a new school record of 1:03.32 in the breastroke. Goodrich placed 1st in the 11-dive event, and set a Hawken pool record, as well as a new school record with a score of 402.90. Boni continued the winning streak by placing 1st in the 100 yard breaststroke. She also finished 2nd in the 200 yard individual medley. In the overall meet, the boys finished 7th, and the girls placed 8th.   

     Coach Diadiun is hoping West G will continue to represent well at the district and state meets. This will be accomplished by hard work and determination. As soon as the season begins, team members start right off with sets of laps, which help to reinforce stroke skills, as well as build endurance. Team members are required to practice four times per week, either at Gilmour’s pool, or at Orange, John Carroll, or Solon for divers.  As there are always swimmers out with colds, the flu, back issues, and even toe issues, the swimmers take precautions and devote time at home to recommended exercises. These are completed anywhere from 2-4 times per week and help to strengthen collateral muscles, which is essential to injury prevention.

     Overall, the team is enthusiastic about the season. Senior Claire Mitri exclaimed that she loves, “Being part of a team where friendships are made,” and that they, “…make each other smile in and out of the pool!” Sophomore Austin Maguire added, “We have been doing well so far and I can’t wait to see us excel in the rest of the season.”

     The boys team might be small in number, and the girls have a lot of new members, but there is a lot of talent that comes along with them as they represent themselves as strong individuals and as a team.

     The post season is almost here, so good luck to the West G swimmers and divers!