East swimming surprises competitors

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By Brooke Bauman

With a well-rounded and hard working group of students, East’s swim team is poised for success this year. Senior captains Allison Lai, Ashley Slocum, David Margolies, Daniel Wohl, Max Morgan, Karlton Tate, Conrad Weiden, Jenny Chen, and Anne Whitsel have been working with head coach Lyn Smith to get their teammates into shape. The captains divvy up the workload so that everyone gets a chance to take on leadership roles.

“Each captain has a different role in terms of communication and organization,” explained Whitsel. “Max, Karlton, Conrad, and David ran preseason, [while] Ashley is in charge of team volunteering and team bonding. I update the Facebook group and organize team bonding. Daniel is in charge of phone updates, and Jenny and Allison take pictures and make the slideshow.”

Jenny Chen (12) and Annie Huang (12) before the meet against Carborro and Chapel Hill.
Jenny Chen (12) and Annie Huang (12) before the meet against Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

East began preseason in early fall, training at the Homestead swimming facility. This was a crucial time of the year for the team so that team members could grow as athletes and create strong bonds with each other.

“Focus for offseason training is to work on core strength and endurance,” commented Coach Smith. “A high school season only lasts for three months with tons of holidays during winter sport season, therefore, if you do not put in time in the off season, your swims will not get significantly faster with just in season training.”

Since they have to practice at a facility off-campus, students often carpool together to and from practice, which offers a great bonding experience for the students outside of the pool. This sense of community is evident in the impressive effort that these swimmers put into their training.

“The strength of our team is in our team bonding events, community service work, and practice ethics that pulls us together as one unit where five different groups practice in five different locations and times,” said Coach Smith. “In practice, our team still needs to work on pushing themselves to swim faster sets so that in races, they feel prepared to race their competitors.”

Keep an eye on Whitsel, Slocum, Lai, Annie Huang, Sophie Perez, and Olivia Kayye this season. On the boys team, watch out for Connor Sept, Wohl, Emile Charles, David Dingfelder, Weiden, Alex Broz, Tate, Margolies, and Morgan. Come out and support the wildcats at their next home meet against Riverside High School on Jan. 10.

Photo courtesy of: Ryan Pecaut

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