Swimming and diving team finds individual success

Senior Jake Butehorn dives over Sophomore Michael Roach in the Boys 200 Medley Relay.

Julie Carter

Senior Jake Butehorn dives over Sophomore Michael Roach in the Boys 200 Medley Relay.

by Rose Fiore, Reporter

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The boys and girls swimming and diving team is rapidly growing in number. In their last two meets, they’ve lost to Middletown and Tuscarora; however, individual performances have been strong. The team and coach remain optimistic.

Senior captain Michelle Carter said, “There was a big increase this year…All the freshmen last year brought their friends this year.” Carter continued, “I like all the people [teammates] and the meets.”

“I joined because it’s a good way to stay in shape,” said sophomore Andrew Nash.

Coach Larkin Kolovich said of the increase, “We have eight boys and 11 girls this year, and that number has doubled since last year. I think we have more swimmers this year because we started recruiting swimmers earlier …I know our boys team captain, Justin Richmond, did a lot of the leg work with recruiting our new boy swimmers.”

The only diver on the team is junior Grace Hewitson. She’s a gymnast and practices with the Walkersville and Oakdale divers. One scoring disadvantage is the lack of divers.

The team had a meet against the Middletown Knights at Walkersville High School on January 4th, losing 123-39 (Boys) and 120-52 (Girls).

Freshman Kali Nanavaty said in reaction to the first loss against Middletown, “In the relays I think we could’ve had quicker turns.”

Coach Kolovich said, “…when we’re swimming against a team so much larger than ours, we try to focus on individual improvement. That could mean a lot of things, but, for the most part, it [means] dropping times in an event, better breath control during a race, and overall technique. So clean starts, turns, and finishes.”

Kolovich continued, “I think our boys and girls team did great against Middletown! Although we lost, it was our first meet coming off of winter break…Our swimmers are constantly improving and noticing a difference in their times, and the goal is to keep that momentum going through the end of the season.”

For the girls, sophomore Jordan Cencula is best at sprints, excelling in the 100 fly. Michelle Carter specializes in long distance, with an impressive time of 6:20 in the 500 free.

Carter and other seniors Matt Demember, Noah Garabedian, and Justin Richmond have been on the team all four years of high school. Kolovich is the only coach they’ve had return for a second year–Kolovich looks forward to providing stability in coaching.

The team also had a meet against the Tuscarora Titans at Frederick High School on January 7th. Nash said they did well in relays and diving. However, the girls lost 113-49 and the boys lost 98-60.

“We could’ve done a little bit better,” said Nanavaty. “I know we’ve gotten better times in the past…We just had a long break, and we didn’t have any practices.”

Despite these losses, the boys are currently trying to break the county record in the 200 Free Relay. Senior Jake Butehorn, senior Justin Richmond, sophomore Michael Roach, and sophomore Richard Zhang swim in this relay. Roach and Zhang swim on a club team. They both swam as freshmen as well. The current record is 1:38, and the boys are only a few seconds away from beating it.

Kolovich is very proud of the team. “They want to swim but more importantly they want to improve, which makes for a great swim team. And their hard work is definitely showing in their times.”

The next meets are January 13th against the Governor Thomas Johnson Patriots at Frederick High School, January 19th against the Urbana Hawks at Middletown High School, and January 28th against the Frederick Cadets at Walkersville High School.