Matrix Staff Writer
Volume XXXVIII: Issue 3: Page 14
Since the first meet of the season has passed, the Athens High School swim team has gained a new perspective for their season.
As a team, the swimmers were not looking to win their meet on Sept. 4, since the other teams were almost twice as large. Because of this, it was very hard to place first, but almost all of the swimmers were close to their personal records.
“Our meet on Sept. 4 was a good start to our swimming season, but we definitely have a lot of work to do,” said Senior Alex Showalter.
Some of the experienced members have modified their goals. “My initial goal was to lower my time in the 50 free to 24 seconds; after the meet on the 4th, I think I can do it by districts,” said Sophomore Kat Bell-Moran.
Other, newer swimmers have different goals. “I have a few goals. The first is to not drown this season. I would also like to not be last in every race and not get made fun of too much, especially for my one armed butterfly,” said Junior Lucas Reilly optimistically.
Heulsman explained the enthusiam with which the experienced members receive newcomer. “If the new swimmers are willing to work and have the motivation to get better, the more experienced swimmers will help them learn the new skills needed to be better swimmers. During the first week, the more experienced swimmers helped teach the newcomers starts and turns.”
So far this season, Coach Kurtis Heulsman is impressed with the team.
“The most improved swimmers are Emma McLaughlin, Sierra Finnearty, Emma Caldwell and Breanna Oswald. They have put forth the effort needed to improve by so much over the course of the season,” explained Heulsman.
The hard work that these swimmers have demonstrated this season extends to the rest of the team.
“All the swimmers on the team really work hard with little motivation needed from me in every practice. My favorite part about coaching swimming is helping my athletes achieve their goals and even surpassing their own expectations when the pressure is on to succeed, ” said Heulsman.
Because of the team’s talent and hard work, Heulsman stands firm in the team’s goals for the season: to improve stroke technique, to lower everyone’s times and to ultimately win Sectionals, send everyone to Districts and send at least one person to State.
Showalter believes they can do it. He added, “We can’t win without the support of fellow students so it would be greatly appreciated if they attended our meets to cheer us on.”