A strong work ethic will lead a “young and hungry” swim team towards success this season, according to head coach Robert Blashill.
“They seem willing to work hard,” Blashill said. “We are a small team, and we look forward to some improved swims and advancement to the regional and state meet.”
The team competed in their first meet of the season against Liberty on Dec. 5 at the Manassas Park Community Center. The boys team won 111-91, and the girls took home a victory with a score of 191-81. Overall, the team worked really hard and did their best, according to sophomore Beth Larkin.
“Everyone tried their best and kept a positive attitude,” Larkin said. “It was a really great way to start the season.”
Although eight seniors graduated last year, the team still looks strong with returning state finalists senior Maddy St’ Ledger, sophomores Larkin and Kat Creveling, and junior Katy Joyce for the 400 freestyle relay. Also returning is last year’s 100 backstroke state finalist junior Christina Cox, along with junior Connor Aiken who is “quickly improving” as a swimmer, according to Blashill.
“We hope Katy Joyce can improve on her third place finish at states last year,” Blashill said. “She also looks very good in training so far.”
Last year the team qualified 10 swimmers for the state meet, which was remarkable, according to Blashill.
“That was unprecedented,” Blashill said. “I’m not sure we can, but I think we are capable of qualifying five or so [swimmers].”
The conference has added Kettle Run, John Champe, and Freedom High Schools this year, which all present new challenges, according to Blashill. Joyce is working hard this season to return to the state meet.
“I want to make it back to states again and place in the top three,” Joyce said.
At the end of the season Blashill hopes to see that the team bonded through experience and that their hard work paid off.
“The rewards, such as how the team will place at championship meets, how much we will improve, and who will advance and place in championship meets is a mystery,” Blashill said. “All I can guarantee is that good things will happen.”
~alex wright, sports director