Swim Team Wraps Up Impressive 2023 Season

Swim Team Wraps Up Impressive 2023 Season

Joshua Geaughan, staff reporter

  The West Springfield High School’s swim team 2023 winter season wraps up with a splash! The season ended with a 9-3 record for girls and a 7-5 record for boys. Due to the team’s small size most of the losses that the team had to take were from forfeiting. Holding a record as impressive as this season makes the swim team one of our school’s more successful teams this year. They don’t get enough of the recognition they deserve, due in part to the lack of promotion around the school. 

I really enjoyed this year’s swim season. Being my senior year, I was very grateful to see my teammates and myself put up the best times and win our events,” said senior captain Lily Shapiro. Shapiro has been swimming since middle school where she raced for the West Springfield Torpedoes. She has always raced the freestyle, the most traditional swim race, but in 8th grade, she also started racing distance events. The distance races for high school and middle school swimming include the 500-meter and sometimes the 200-meter races. “Swimming is very unique because you can’t talk to people because you are swimming in the water the whole time obviously, and that leads to a lot of time in your thoughts. Especially in long sets, you have a long time to think,” Lily commented on how the sport of swimming is mentality heavy. It takes both having to balance precise control of your body and having to grit your teeth and put in the effort required to race. She spoke about how when swimming you could barely see your competitors through your peripheral vision, something that becomes second nature when swimming, and allows you to get a vague idea of where your competitors are. Besides small glimpses of fellow swimmers you are mostly alone in your thoughts.

One way to deal with the difficulty of the sport is through having a strong team bond; the swim team spends their time outside of practice getting dinner, breakfast, or having pasta parties.The factor that I believe that had made me improve the most this season was learning from my teammates in the same lane as me, and having them push me every day,” commented sophomore Alex Morales. Throughout the season, Alex consistently improved with every race, eventually ending up on the two-state relay teams in the 200 relay and the 400 relays. Other members of the relay teams include Gabby bulatewicz, Nola Borsari, Lily Shapiro, and Emily Gripy for the girl’s team and Alex Morales, Danny Casey, Logan Aubin, and Reno Corona for the boy’s team. 

Along with individual and relay races the swim team also features diving competitions. The two divers on the swim team include Emily Gairpy and Brett Walder, a senior and 8th grader respectively. Brett Walder is the first ever 8th grader to go to Western Central Championships on the high school swim team, coming 6th overall in men’s diving. Not only did he get this far as an 8th grader but he also pushed through a mid-season injury and still managed to perform successfully at championships. Senior Emily Gariepy likewise had a great season as she comments on her performance, “I made more progress than ever before in diving this season and I was really proud to be able to dive for the last time on my senior night. Having all of my family, friends, and teammates cheering me on through all of the flops and tears and hard practices made it all worth it.” 

The swim team placed 13 out of 40 at states, and after giving everything they got they can be proud of their accomplishments throughout the season. There is a lot of new talent on the team this year and even with the great season they had this year, the team is setting itself up to go above and beyond next year!