Woodstock’s Splashing Season

Rhiana A.

Staff Writer

Last year Woodstock High School’s swim team had a season full of accomplishments. Coach John Gillin says, “The boys took the county title for the first time, and the girls just missed out on a top ten finish at the Georgia state meet.” The team was very accomplished, and they are hoping they will be even stronger this coming season. The freshmen came in already prepared for the season. Practice and meets have already begun for the swimmers, and they are training intensely to ensure they are the best they can be. The swimmers are training their bodies to become physically fit and prepared for the season.

Swim practice is four days a week with endurance and technique being the main focuses. Senior Anslee Broome says, “We swim 3500 to 5000 yards every practice. We also do drills and sprints to work on our technique.” Along with endurance, body composition is one of the major techniques needed in swim. If the head is in the accurate position, which is having the hairline on the surface of the water and looking forward, then the body will follow in the correct position. Another technique needed is the stroke. There are many different types of strokes, each having its own requirements, but the reach is very important to all strokes. If the reach is not well done, the speed will not be as fast as possible. Coach Anne Berman says, “We are trying to give everyone a good base for endurance. Swim Team RA 2The swimmers are putting in a lot of mileage. We are working on clean strokes, and eventually we will be working on speed.” The swim team puts in persistent training before the meets start.

Even though the swim team puts forth much effort, they have lost some star swimmers from last year.  Coach Berman says, “The swim team is going to be even better than last year. We are going to rock this year! Many of the freshmen are year-round or previous summer swimmers, so they are coming to us strong.” The seniors are also impressed with the new freshmen on the team. Broome says, “We will definitely be as good as if not better than last year because we have so many new talented faces. We got in a ton of new freshmen that swim with Chattahoochee Gold.” The swim team has high hopes for themselves this season, and the freshmen are prepared to fight against the other schools in the meets. The freshmen have high expectations to meet, but the seasoned swimmers have even higher expectations; together WHS’s swim team is going to be the team to beat. Coach Gillin says, “After graduating a fantastic senior class last year, I thought this would be a rebuilding year, but the continued improvement of our top swimmers and the deepest, most talented girls freshmen class ever has me believing that we can be as good if not better than last year.”

Both the girls and guys are phenomenal this year and will help make the team even stronger than last year. Coach Gillin points out the talented guys and their strengths by saying, “Alarii Levreault-Lopez is probably the best all-around boys swinew swimming poolmmer in the county, and Dalton Baxter is the number one distance swimmer. Chase Johnson and Judson Robertson are elite sprinters making our relays the team to beat in the county. Alex Norman and Chris Farmer are gunning to be top three in the county in their best events.”

The girls are also going to help the team make it to the top. Coach Gillin continues, “Only two of our swimmers (Anna Giddens and Madison Tank) from last year’s state relay teams are returning. Jamie Maloney has had a great off-season and on the cusp of several state cuts as the season begins. I am also hoping that Paige Brennan and Elena Ruiz will help fill the void left by the 2012 seniors. With the talent loss due to last year’s graduating class, we would need a remarkable group of new swimmers to reach the level of achievement from last year.  I think we may have that group this year.  Lauren Case may battle for a state individual title this year.  Kailey Austin, Megan O’Meara, MaryLeigh Williams should join Rachel Steppe as some of the county’s best breaststrokers.  Madison Block looks to battle Anna Giddens for the backstroke leg of the medley relay at the state meet this year.  I know I am leaving out some swimmers that will make major impacts because it is so early; I still do not know where everyone fits in yet.” The team has some experienced freshmen and upperclassmen this year, both guys and girls, and they are ready for a successful season.

This year, with all the new talent and existing talent, the swim team should achieve some major accomplishments. The practices are building each swimmer up to be the best and strongest they can be for the new season. Students, make sure to support the swimmers as they make it all the way and have a pronounced winning season.

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