Swim Cats gearing up for regional championships in Jan.

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By Taylor Bush

Being a competitive swimmer causes you to push yourself beyond the limit, including long hours of work and practice,” Pamela Rojas told the 2014 BHS yearbook committee.
Pamela Rojas was not mistaken. The Bainbridge High School Competitive Swim Team is working hard to do well in the meets this season. By encouraging one another and coming together as a team, the swimmers have started this swim season well.
Greta Conner, a life science teacher at Bainbridge Middle School, has been coach of the swim team since 2013 and does an awesome job leading the swimmers. Conner attends all practices and meets with the team and has the help of the assistant coach, Tracy Poppel, who is a science teacher at BHS. The two work well together to push the swimmers on towards victory.
“It is a privilege to coach a great group of hard working athletes,” said Coach Conner.
The team of 25 swimmers practices Monday through Thursday of every week from 3:30 – 5 p.m. All of the rigorous practices are held at the Bainbridge YMCA where a few of the swimmers work as lifeguards. The team is very grateful that the YMCA allows them to practice at its facility. Although the workouts change every day, each swimmer is given the same workout that amounts to an average of 2,500 yards.
Each member of the swim team serves an important role as an encourager and competitor. No student is excluded from the practices or meets.
The swim team welcomes nine new swimmers this year. Emily New and Eric Conner serve as team captains and were voted to be captains by their teammates. The swimmers agreed that these two students showed dedication and exemplary participation with the team.
The team has already attended four of this season’s meets and has been very successful. The team has placed first at one of the meets, and the boys have placed first at two meets.
Swimming is considered an individual sport because swimmers compete against their own times; however, swimmers also do their best to finish before other swimmers in their events.
“Swimming is a great individual sport, but it also puts swimmers in a team environment to help push one another,” said New.
Teams receive points based on having swimmers entered in events and the place in which the swimmers finish. The BHS Swim Cats have at least one swimmer entered in each event at every meet, guaranteeing team points for every race.
Although Bainbridge has had many individual winners, the team strives to win the first place team trophy, the first place girls trophy and the first place boys trophy at each meet. The swim team will attend four more meets before the season ends in January at the Region meet.
BHS has been very proud of the swim team in past years due to the outstanding effort the athletes give. It is not an easy sport. In the region meet last school year, both the boy Swim Cats and the girl Swim Cats placed first overall.
The team this year hopes to defend its title as region champions at Albany State on Jan. 27. BHS wishes the best of luck to the team as the swimmers strongly carry out the rest of the season.

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