The Pacer

Varsity swim excels with young group of freshmen

Grace Dollia

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After an almost 13-week-long season, the Rolling Meadows High School Girls Swimming team finished their year at the IHSA Sectional Swim Meet at Stevenson High School last Saturday.

The team entered in 28 individual and relay events, which all resulted in either season or lifetime bests for the girls; however, this type of success did not come without an immense amount of hard work and preparation.

“We have been preparing for this meet all season,” sophomore Kayla Anagnostopoulos said. “With all of the time and effort we put in at practice all season, the main goal is to get a best time at sectionals. A week before sectionals, we start to taper and practice gets easier so we aren’t sore for Sectionals and we are able to get a best time.”

In addition to vigorous practicing, the team also has a some specific traditions that they follow in order to prepare for the sectionals meet.

“To the non-swimmer, it is an odd ritual,” Head Coach Monika Chiappetta said. “The girls do not shave their legs all season, then they shave the day before the taper meet. This is scientifically proven to reduce drag and aid in making them faster.”

This year’s team had members from every grade at Meadows; in fact, some of the most significant victories were earned by freshmen, which is rarely a grade that competes on the varsity level, no matter the sport.

“Everyone this year contributed a lot to the team, but we had some underclassmen who not only came in fast, but also showed a great deal of dedication and helped us win points at Conference and Sectionals,” senior Emily Walters said. “Our freshmen, Jenna Pors, Sydney Mayer and Abby Wiltse worked extremely hard, and I’m excited to hear about what they accomplish in the next three years.”

Placing 10th at Sectionals in the butterfly event, Pors in particular was an integral player to the team and had an especially successful season.

“When the season started, I was so excited for my first high school sport and to be meeting so many new people,” Pors said. “It was a lot of hard work, but we all had fun together in the pool and out of the pool. I’m very sad that the seniors won’t be back next year but I’m looking forward to improving each year and to have more great seasons with everyone.”

Chiappetta reiterates the strong impact that the team’s four graduating seniors have made during their time in the pool.

“I could not be more proud of these 11 girls for all that they accomplished not only [at Sectionals] but all season,” Chiappetta said. “We are very sad to say goodbye to our seniors [Grace Nykol, Teresa Perille, Walters and Betsy Zanocco], but I can’t wait to see what the returning swimmers will do next year.”

Despite the many physical and mental challenges the team experienced throughout the season, the team depended on their passion, dedication and talent, which ultimately permitted them to end on a strong note.

“High school swimming has been one of my favorite parts of my high school experience,” Walters said. “[The Sectional meet] was a great end to my swimming career because of how well we did as a team and what I achieved individually.”

Going into next year’s season, the team will have seven returning players who will continue dedicating their offseason to the sport either through individual practice or involvement in an additional swim team outside of school.

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Varsity swim excels with young group of freshmen