By: Morgan Sharbaugh
The swim team trained hard all season to have the Women’s team defeat Oakwood in the SWBL meet, and have junior, Cam Bybee, take 15th in the state for a 200 Free.
The Women’s team spent most of the SWBL meet neck and neck with Oakwood until finally pulling into the lead. They broke Oakwood’s 17-year winning streak. Head Coach Rob Johnson feels that it was great to beat Oakwood’s streak. “Much like two years ago when the boys won SWBL, it had been Bellbrook to break their streak. We’re friends with the Oakwood team, but it was a great feeling to see our team pull away from them as the meet when on,” he says.
To reach such success, the team had to really step up. The size of the team shrunk significantly due to the seniors who graduated after the 2018-2019 season, but several strong freshmen joined the team to make up for that loss. Johnson believes that due to how well the freshman worked with the remaining upperclassmen, and how the returning team members stepped it up and had significant drops in time, the win was possible. Junior Captain Avarie Faulkner notes, “The team had a bunch of PR’s (personal records) which means our team is getting faster,” as the biggest success of the season.
Johnson, Faulkner, and Senior Captain Zach Hulett are in agreement that the most important part of the swim team is not their successes, but the team dynamic. Johnson says, “We have a tight-knit team. I’ve heard many comments over the years of how swimming/diving is different than other sports– the team truly cares and supports each other. The team wants other team members to do the best that they can.” Hullet claims that is why he’s on the team, for the “sense of comradery and happiness.” Faulkner’s favorite part about being on the team is the atmosphere and support from the team. Senior Kyle Van Pelt also claims his favorite part of the team is the people. Especially seeing how people express themselves on the swim team, he says, sharing a memory of graduated swimmer Keenan McCormick’s swimsuit with donuts on it.
Next season, Johnson predicts that the women have a good chance of winning again, but the men will struggle due to the loss of swimmers. Johnson says, “The boys are losing some talent to graduation and we’ll need to work to get some more team members.” He also throws in a recruiting comment: “All the cool kids join the swim and dive team,” but if you ask any of the swimmers they’ll tell you he also says, “All the cool kids do their flip turns.”