The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Shorewood girls swim season concludes

Swimmers reflect on a successful season and share motivation

As the girls swim team wrapped up their 2023 season with the state meet on November 10, team members reflected on their successes and challenges.

I think the accomplishment I’m most proud of is the relationships I have built with the girls,” said Olivia Reeve, senior and team captain. “I’ve become like an older sister to some of the freshmen, and knowing that they think that of me fills me with immense joy.”

According to Reeve, having a dedicated team motivated everyone to swim their best.  

“At practices and meets, being surrounded by people giving 100 percent of what they can give really pushed me to also give 100 percent of what I could,” Reeve said.

In addition to a motivated team, the girls also had a smaller group for the season.

It’s a small team, which is kind of nice because everybody gets to know each other pretty well,” said Violet Lucier, junior. “We all cheered for each other a lot.”

This season, the team welcomed seven new freshmen, as well as returning upperclassmen. According to Lucier, the freshmen brought a new wave of talent to the team with their collective experience and skill.

“This year we had seven freshmen come in from swim club,” Lucier said. “They’ve been swimming for a lot of years, so the freshmen this year were incredibly insane.”

According to Reeve, the time leading up to sectionals was the most stressful for the team. 

“Sectionals is the meet where people probably get the most worried about their races, but our coaches always tell us that you work hard all season so that when you get to sectionals, you get to ‘trust your training’ and just go for it,” Reeve said. “That’s something that helps calm the nerves around the pool deck.”

After taking fifth place at sectionals, the qualifying team members began to prepare for state.

After sectionals, the week of state is just focusing on the little things,” Reeve said. “Getting enough sleep, having a balanced diet, and saving energy when you can are a couple of the main things I focus on. And then again, when it gets to the day of state, I trust my training and give my races my all.”

Reeve acknowledges the role her coaches have played in her success, both in working through injuries and being a supportive force.

Our head coach, Cassie Rodriguez, has been great at helping me throughout the season with adapting sets that are more doable for my shoulders and back,” Reeve said. “Our assistant coach, Stephanie Appel, has really helped all the girls with their diving and turn technique. Finally, our second assistant coach, Zach Hammond, has truly been my rock throughout these past couple of years in swimming. Whenever one of the girls is feeling down or nervous about a race, Zach is right there and will turn their mood right around.”

Dana Kim, junior, also acknowledges her coaches, crediting some of her success to Rodriguez, who pushed her to go above and beyond. 

“If she wasn’t strict and if she hadn’t given such difficult things to do throughout the season, I don’t think that I would have been able to drop time from my events at all,” said Kim. “She definitely affected my performance in a good way.”

Throughout her time swimming for Shorewood, Reeve persevered through her own challenges, including injuries that made the sport more difficult, both physically and mentally. However, Reeve believes these challenges gave her the opportunity to support the team in different ways as captain.

“Dealing with my injuries actually opened the opportunity for me to realize that there are so many other ways to help my team other than with my speed,” Reeve said. “I am able to be someone who the team can trust or come to with anything they need.”

According to Lucier, team bonding is important because it strengthens connections outside of the pool, letting everyone get to know each other better.

“I think [the importance of team bonding is] kind of having time together with no reason other than to hang out, have fun, and get to know each other,” Lucier said. “I think that’s when you really get to know people’s personalities.”

Reeve shares this sentiment. 

“Our team is very special, and we are all supportive of one another,” Reeve said. “If you have ever been to one of our meets, you know that if we have a teammate swimming, we are all up and cheering for them.”