By Amelia Chen
Despite thunderstorms at the beginning of the season, Oak Hall’s varsity swimming and diving teams have competed in quite a few meets, leading to personal records and overall victories. In fact, both teams won meets against Columbia High School and rival St. Francis Catholic.
The meet against Columbia was especially significant because it was the first meet that was not cancelled due to thunderstorms. The Eagles are successful this season thanks to the encouragement from each other and the number of swimmers and divers that joined the team.
The factor that makes the swim teams so special and different is that the athletes are a diverse group of students, as the teams are made up of students in sixth through 12th grade. Although it could be easy for clashing to happen within these age ranges, the teams mesh very well. “I think it’s what makes our team special compared to a lot of those other teams in town where they only have high schoolers,” said Swimming and Diving Coach, Quinn Bohan.
The success of this season doesn’t just come from individual talent, but also teamwork. Although swimming and diving is considered to be an individual sport, the support of teammates help motivate each other. “Encouragement from your teammates really help you push for that new time [and] you want to win for your team, not just for yourself which [encourages you],” said freshman swimmer Stacey Aliyanaya.
As much as encouragement plays into making each other better, practice helps immensely with the hard work they put in. They are especially working hard now that the district and regional meet is around the corner. “We tend to typically have 14 to 15 [athletes] make it to the regional meet,” Bohan said.
Not only do the teams have incredible teamwork and grit, but they also have great leadership through their captains with Katelyn Berthy and Lisa Aliyanaya on the girls team and Tim Aliyanoy and Aneesh Gogieni for the boys team. Overall, the swimming and diving teams gain success from supporting each other, the dedicated leadership, and hard work.
Oak Hall, along with P.K. Yonge and St. Francis are hosting the district meet on Oct. 25 at Northeast Pool. Swimming starts at 9 a.m.