Swim and dive cap off perfect season
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Clamorous cheers filled the air. This was the moment they had all been waiting for. Tied for points, it all came down to these last few swimmers in the final race of the night, a 4×100 freestyle relay. They couldn’t lose to Newton North, their biggest rivals. The swimmers took off, and the nerves in the room were overshadowed by the enthusiasm and noise emitted from the Brookline girls swim team.
“During that one race, the amount of cheering that we did for our team- it was just like the building was shaking,” sophomore Reece Carew-Lyons said.
After the race, Carew-Lyons said the points were tallied and score was announced: Brookline had won again.
Being undefeated is a huge motivator. The swim team wants to represent the high school in the best way possible and show other teams that they deserve their streak, Carew-Lyons says.
“During practice and during meets we push each other to work our hardest, and having that support encourages everyone to do their best,” Carew-Lyons said.
According to senior captain Maddie Emmerich, the team has improved so much in her four years at the school. This year was their first time beating Framingham, another rival, in 24 years, which is a huge accomplishment that illustrates how far the swim team has come. Emmerich is proud to be part of something so special.
“Being undefeated makes me want to be the person who is a part of something so great, something history worthy,” Emmerich said
If you see people around the school in angel and devil costumes or shirts that say “cats can’t swim,” it’s probably the swim team. Spirit is a huge part of their team community. It helps them get excited about meets and make sure everyone feels like they are a part of the team, Carew-Lyons said.
Though being undefeated means winning all the time, this isn’t the most important part of swimming. Junior Hope Wei says improvement and striving to do one’s best are more important for the swim team.
“It’s more like the perseverance and determination you get from trying to push yourself and help others reach their goals,” Wei said.
The reason the swim team is so successful, according to Carew-Lyons, is their strong team bond.
“Since we spend so much time with each other we are very close. I don’t think anyone feels like they are left out,” Carew-Lyons said. “And I think having that bond means everybody is always cheering, and even after you swim people are always there to help you out of the water and always congratulate you on whatever you have done.”
The team is also very driven and focused on teamwork.
“I think we have incredible sportsmanship. We are so supportive and I think that we are really focused and we know what goals are and we know we want to get there,” Emmerich said.
Being undefeated means that the team is under constant pressure to win, and every race counts.
“There is a lot of pressure put on us by our coach. It’s stressful but not to the point where our performance is hindered. It helps us. We do well under pressure basically,” Wei said.
This pressure means that the team must work hard at every practice, and not just slack off because they think they can easily win again, Emmerich said.
Though they are undefeated, there are still more meets left in the season, and therefore opportunities to lose. Losing would be discouraging, but the swim team is stronger than just their record.
“I think we would obviously be disappointed and sad but in the end we would know we had been working our hardest during every single practice, and our coach would be a little bit upset, but he would know that it wasn’t because we weren’t trying, it would be because our opponents were just as good as us,” Carew-Lyons said.
The swim team has been strong before, last year going 10-2, but this year is different. Their team is focused on having a strong community where everyone can support and inspire each other.
“We have gotten so much better at cheering and talking to people that aren’t just in our grades and classes,” Wei said. “Our team is like one big family.”