The girls swim team makes a splash


Ella Gray

Beginning in August, the girls swim team season is preparing for their last few weeks of the season. 

The team has been small to begin with, at a total of four girls, just enough for a relay. Knowing they could not win meets against large teams such as Auburn or Hononegah, the girls chose to focus on two things: their individual times and being a team sport. 

The girls found their strengths in practice, through sprint and distance sets, as well as in meets. To be a sprinter, one has to be very good at going short distances and going fast. Naomi Cano-Rodriguez, class of 2023, broke a 30 this year in her 50 freestyle, with a personal best time of 27.77 seconds. To be a distance swimmer, you have to be very skilled at pacing your swim and controlling your breathing. Head coach Amy Taylor makes sure everyone tries the 500 freestyle at least once in their high school swimming career. At the tri-meet of East vs Boylan vs Jefferson, Paige Warner, class of 2023, did the 500 freestyle for the first time in her swimming career. 

This year, Taylor was given an assistant coach, former East swimmer and valkyrie (synchronized swimmer) Meghan Green. Green has had a fun time getting to know the team and getting to be an assistant coach. 

“My experience as assistant coach this year has been great coming back and hanging out with the girls,” said Green. 

Green says that her favorite thing this season has been being able to swim with the girls at one practice. 

With Green now there, Taylor has said the season has been very helpful. 

“It’s been wonderful, just because it makes for a long day when we don’t start after school. It’s nice to have another set of eyes in case something were to happen,” said Taylor. 

Getting into gear for the last few meets ahead, the girls had a spirit themed week during homecoming week. Monday was Disney day, consisting mainly of Disney movie music and incorporating different types of drills that were Disney themed, such as building a castle by swimming down to get materials and back. Tuesday was football day, where the girls did half the practice on land (doing pushups, squats, sit ups, etc.) and the other half in the water. Wednesday was anything but a kickboard day, where the girls had to find a substitute for their kickboards. Such substitutions consisted of a pan, a frisbee, a plate and some pool equipment in a mesh bag.  Also on Wednesday, the set for the practice was based off of a deck of cards. One of the swimmers would pick a card and look for the set that corresponded with the card on the board. Thursday was anything but a water bottle day, with ideas such as a snorkel, a pitcher and a cup. Friday, as always, was red and black day for the school, so the girls wore a red or black suit to show off their school spirit. 

“My favorite day was Disney day because we had a fun practice,” said Isabella Enright, class of 2024. 

The final meets take place on October 22, 29 and November fifth. These meets take a lot of time and consist of many teams, which could be intimidating for a small team like East’s, but the girls love cheering on their competitors. The girls enjoy team bonding before and after large meets. Team bonding for them means going to CherryVale Mall before a meet, going out to breakfast or going out to lunch after a meet. 

Seniors’ Rodriguez and Warner say that their favorite team bonding activities are going to Target and painting sweatpants. 

The girls swim team may not have won meets because of their size, but they have placed well in their individual events and relays. They have also demonstrated good team sportsmanship by cheering on not only their teammates but the opposing teams as well. All in all, the girls swim team has proven the saying “small but mighty” to be true.