Dive into Swim Season

Emma Brading '25

The 2022-23 swim season has been one to remember, as it has introduced new swimmers, new best times, and new bonds among team members! 

Beginning in November, the team worked hard to put their collective best foot forward. This effort did not go unnoticed, as both returning veterans and new additions to the team achieved new best times and places throughout the various meets. The freshmen especially took up the challenge with force and fervor, completely committing to the sport and the team. Although joining a high school team can be scary as a freshman, these girls made the transition seamless. They came to every practice and meet with the same drive to both learn and grow as athletes. Every single student-athlete proved from the first practice that they were willing to learn and wanted to become better swimmers. Nice job, freshmen! 

Some of the returning swimmers– specifically the seniors– shared this same drive and passion, too. In a way, the seniors faced a transition similar to the freshmen. The seniors had to quickly adapt from being a part of the team to becoming leaders of the team. In a similar way to the freshmen, the seniors took on this responsibility with ease. They quickly asserted themselves as not only leaders of the team, but as mentors for the younger swimmers, as well. Whether they offered general help regarding swimming, or advice for school or life, the seniors frequently took on their roles and guided the team. This was highlighted on senior night, as all of the girls shared memories from the team and past seasons. The seniors this year have done an incredible job at supplying help and acting as kind resources for the younger swimmers. It is hard to imagine swimming without them next year. We will miss you, seniors!

Finally, it is hard to talk about the swim team without mentioning the amazing coaches that make it all possible. Coach Vukas and Coach Yarnall have always established themselves as helpful, inspiring coaches, and this was no different in the 2022-23 season. Whether it was helping the freshmen acclimate to the new environment of the team, or assisting returning swimmers to grow even more as athletes, these coaches have always proved to be thoughtful and effective in what they do. Although they have heavily aided in creating an excellent team of swimmers, it is what they have done outside of practice that counts. They have not only taught the team to swim faster, but they have instilled in them a sense of “being a part of something larger than themselves,” encouraging all members to put forward their best efforts because of this teaching. They have repeatedly reminded the team of the importance of ambition, hard work, and resilience– all traits which will follow every swimmer outside of the pool and AOSE and into the real world. Thank you, coaches, for an amazing season! 

Overall, the 2022-23 swim season has proven to be a memorable one. Whether due to the new additions to the team, the various best times, or simply the memories from practices and meets, every swimmer can confidently say that this season was worth the time and effort. Though the season may be over for now, the Aquapanthers cannot wait to further their accomplishments in the 2023-24 season!