By Kennedy Werner
In anticipation of the “BEEP” that will echo throughout the pool deck, each swimmer is focused; this is the one moment to make it count. As the chlorinated pool water fills the nostrils of each nose on deck, each girl strives to get the… head start.
With seventeen strong, dedicated athletes on the team, Walled Lake Central’s women’s swim and dive is devoted to making each stride one second shorter. This fall sport, with the help of captains senior Sarah Victor and junior Nicole Shaffer, is committed to finishing the season on the right foot. Although the sport ends in mid-November, the team’s current task is the Warriors of Walled Lake Western. Preparing for the October 17 meet at Western, the Lady Vikings are ready to defeat their rivals.
“The team is getting super excited [about the game],” said Shaffer, “This has been a meet we’ve been looking forward to all season and we’re ready for it. We for sure think we can win.”
Even the girls have lost every dual meet so far, they are committed to improvement since the season has begun. In fact, with extensive practice hours like these girls, it’s no wonder there’s such thing as “girl power”! General practices are every weekday from 2:45-5:30PMand Saturdays from 7-10AM, here, the team runs drills of almost everything: sprint, kick, distance, and stroke sets.
Occasionally, the team will work outside on the track for “dry land drills”. Morning practices are required on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:45-6:45 AM in the weight room. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning pool practices are optional from 6-6:45AM.
“Getting up at 5:30 in the morning five times a week is really rough but practicing this much makes us a lot better and turns us into a great team,” said Shaffer.
Yet, no matter what size the event, all teammates of Swim and Dive are always supporting and cheering for each other.
“The girls are great, they definitely have a bunch of energy and it’s never a boring day,” said head coach, Evan Darbyshire, “They always come together when they need to.”
Specifically, with only one diver on the team, freshman, Amanda Ling, the swimmers always cheer her right through the splash.
“This year’s season has been really great so far,” said Ling, “Being the only diver from Central has helped me become better friends with the other girls on the team. They are all very encouraging … even if I don’t have the best meet.”
Except Ling almost always gets first place in the diving portion of the meets. The experienced gymnast just recently began swimming this year.
“Amanda is a fantastic diver but even if she takes first every meet we still lose points if the other team takes second and third,” saidDarbyshire.
When it comes to bonding and being teammates, other teams should take a lesson from the girls.
“As a team, we have gotten really close and a lot of friendships have been made,” said Shaffer.
Senior Krista Fog adds, “I first joined [the team] just to do a sport, but I grew so close to the team.”
But, as the season comes to a close, the team is focused on winning and beating their personal records. “My goal is to win our last two dual meets and send at least one relay to states,” said Darbyshire.
Good luck out there ladies!