Women’s swim team has faced tough competition this season, hopes to do well at State

Hanna Bilimoria

BESTSTROKE: Practicing her breaststroke, senior Diana Capota prepares for a meet against Fremd. The team lost to Fremd 130-56, due to missing some key swimmers from sickness and college trips,according to Capota.

Cassidy Jackson, Staff Writer

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The women’s swim team hopes to finish their season strong, especially with their five returning State qualifiers, four of which were finalists, according to head coach Keith MacDonald. The team has also kicked their season off by facing tough competition from Fremd, GBN and Evanston according to senior captain Katie Wells.

“I think we’ve had a good start so far,” Wells said. “We had a pretty good meet at Lake Forest and at Deerfield as well. We got 6th at [the] Lake Forest invite and we won our Deerfield [dual] meet on all three levels: Freshmen, JV, and Varsity.”

MacDonald agrees that the girls have had a good start, but success at meets at this point of the season isn’t the teams main objective. MacDonald is more focused on the team’s results for the end of the year.

“Our most memorable [moments] have been our practices rather than our meets,” MacDonald said. “We’re worried more about getting in shape than swimming fast at this point. Hopefully everyone will swim fast by the end of the year [so] we could be a top 10 team in the state.”

Wells sees success in practice manifest itself  in one of her competition experiences, she said. Her most memorable moment was in the pool at the Deerfield meet.

“On Friday, the last relay the 400 freestyle our coach designed the relay so that we’d be kinda behind and we ended up being a lot more behind than anticipated,” Wells said. “I was last, so I was expected to catch up and I got really close to catching up to her. We were half a pool length behind them when I jumped in. I got really close to catching her but she touched me out by two tenths of a second. ”

According to Senior Kelly Cordes, the team isn’t only planning on swimming faster, but they hope to grow closer as well. She has seen a few defining moments of team bonding during this season.

“[The] last weekend of summer, we went to Lake Geneva and we had a team weekend,” Cordes said. “We stayed in a dorm home with each other. We’ve also hung out with our team, gone for picnics and breakfast.”

The team’s ability to grow closer had helped with successes like Deerfield and Lake Forest. Nonetheless, other obstacles, like swimmers being out sick or other teams loading certain events with competitors, have led to a few undesirable outcomes. On Sept. 12 the team went up against Fremd and was defeated.

“We had a meet against Fremd, [and] they have a lot of divers on the team,” Cordes said. “We were expecting to lose but we did well individually.”

In addition, the girls had a lot of swimmers out sick which affected the results of the Fremd meet, according to senior Diana Capota.

“We had a lot of people that were sick and missing,” Capota said. “Katie Wells wasn’t there which hurt us because she is one of our fastest swimmers. Yet, at the end of the season we are always faster than [Fremd].”

Along with Fremd, the team was unable to pull out a win on Friday, Sept. 19 against GBN.

“I think it was one of the most important dual meets of the season and, much to our dismay, we lost against GBN for the first time in awhile,” Kotsinis said. “We were disappointed but we tried to be good sports.”

According to Kotsinis, GBN is just a stronger team at this point in the season.

“Certain events we just lost, and [in others] the GBN girls swam really hard,” Kotsinis said. “If we won a few more events, we could have pulled it [off]. Yet, we are really thankful that the divers pulled out a win, that was really helpful for us.”

Despite falling to GBN, Kotsinis said the team is still optimistic.

“It was one of the most important meets but then again a dual meet is just a dual meet, it’s not as important as one of our invites and we could always turn it around [later on in] the season,” Kotsinis said.

MacDonald, even after the tough loss, supported the girls by reminding them that it’s just one meet and there are [many] more to come, according to Kotsinis.

“Our coach had a positive attitude when we lost, but I know that he was kind of sad about it,” Kotsinis said. “He tries to tell us that it was just one meet and that they deserved it. He gave all credit to GBN.”

According to Capota, the team was proud to feel more unified than the GBN team.

“We were more like a team than GBN was,” Capota said. “They weren’t cheering as much as we were. Even if [our teammates] weren’t getting the best times, we were still cheering for them.”

The girls kept their enthusiasm strong when they participated in the GBN invitational, according to Kotsinis.

“Losing the GBN meet made us want to swim faster [at the GBN invitational],” Kotsinis said. “We expected ourselves to personally have better races and get good times. Even though we had a match friday [against GBN] we got our rest and we were pumped for our match the next day.”

The results of the invite were largely expected by the team, according to Kotsinis.

“We got 5th [out of] 9 teams,” Kotsinis said. “We weren’t expecting to win, there was a lot of really fast teams there. GBN got 2nd and 1st was Saint Charles East.”

According to Capota, even with the GBN meet and GBN invitational out of the way, the girls still have other crucial dual meets to look forward to, including New Trier.

“The New Trier meet is going to be a really hard one but they lost a lot of swimmers in the past year just like [us],” Capota said. “They have fast swimmers but we have a lot of fast swimmers, too, so I think it’s going to be a close match. If we can beat them it would be the first time in 4 years.”

In addition, the team beat both Maine South (95.5-90.5) and Niles West (106-80), and lost to Evanston (112-74). Kotsinis said the girls are excited for their annual home invite, which takes place Oct. 17.

“We look forward to that because it’s in our home pool with 7 other teams,” Kotsinis said. “We get so pumped for Titan relays because it’s our home turf.”

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