A Wrap-Up to the Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team Season
By: Olivia Tuzel
As October comes to an end, so does the Girls Varsity Swim and Dive season: a bittersweet moment for many of the swimmers, coaches, and managers. From the sweltering days of August to now, the girls have progressed with dedication and commitment, resulting in a fantastic season for the Tigers.
For the seniors, these last couple of months were their final moments on the WPHS Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team. Despite the saddening acknowledgment that this was their last swim year, they succeeded in leading the team and established a heartwarming bond.
At the center of it all stand the incredible coaches: Coach Gilmartin (head coach), Coach Eller, and Coach Fahey. These three individuals have continuously provided their support and encouragement. Alongside the managers, they were able to incorporate some fun and humor into daily swim life. It is unanimously agreed that the girls couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to coach them. With the final days of the season approaching, the coaches have their own responses and reflections as to how this year went for the Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team. “I’ve been coaching for numerous years and this team has inspired me! Watching the improvement from August 24th to now has been a highlight,” Coach Gil said. “I’ve been so impressed with the dedication and efforts that have been displayed during practices and meets. This is an amazing group of women, full of determination, empathy, and drive,” she added. The other coaches agreed that the improvements seen in the pool have been astounding. Coach Fahey mentioned that in meets she had “seen the great strides our swimmers have made in improving both their mechanics and their times.” The swim team’s coaches also emphasized that the outcome of this season is worth receiving recognition.
“I would give you all praise for stepping up whenever we needed to make changes due to either an injury or if any of you guys had to leave early due to a health emergency. I also give praise to how you all still stay positive,” said Coach Eller. Complimenting Coach Eller’s response, Coach Fahey said, “I am really proud of our swimmers fighting for each place to win points. That extra effort had resulted in many personal best times!” Some of the seniors on the Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team were kind enough to tell us about their favorite experiences from being on the team. “My favorite memory from being on the swim team would be the time that I was scheduled for three events for one meet. I was extremely nervous and after swimming the first two events, I felt that I didn’t do my best,” Sam Balbi said. “While I was getting on the diving block for the third event, I told Coach Gil that I didn’t feel like that day was my day; and she said to me, ‘Everyday is your day.’ Coach told me to repeat the phrase like words of affirmation, and I thought it was a really sweet moment that gave me the confidence I needed.”
Priya Kumar said, “My favorite part, out of many, about being on this team is how close everyone is to each other. Our team is like a family. I look[ed] forward to the season every year and will miss the team and our amazing coach, Coach Gil.” To top it off, Jenny Deng brought up a simple yet heartfelt favorite moment from being a part of the swim team. “One of my favorite parts about being on the swim team was when we would all share snacks. During a meet, when you’re dying of hunger, someone would always have snacks to share and it makes it all worth it,” Jenny wrote. “They are good snacks too! This really embodies the team spirit.”
Aside from those sweet memories, Coach Eller also spoke about how he loves when the girls “drop time” in events and put forth their very best during meets. The spirit and enthusiasm that is emitted by the swim team is adored by the coaches, making it “obvious that the team members are so supportive of each other.”
The swim team sends a special thank you to the managers as well. Everyone is beyond grateful for our managers' contributions and help, along with the light they brought to daily practices and stressful meets. We wish the seniors the best of luck with the path that lies ahead of them, all of whom will be missed. Coach Gil couldn’t have said it better: “Our seniors have made this an amazing experience for all.”