Woodson Swim Dives into an Excellent Post Season Performance

Photo courtesy of Peter Tao.

Photo courtesy of Peter Tao.

Zainab Rentia, News Editor

“SPLASH!” Their teammates roar in support as the swimmers enter the water. Apprehension turns to exhilaration as the Woodson Swim Team emerges from the water in first place, setting the tone for the rest of the evening at the regionals competition.

Woodson took first place at regionals. All photos courtesy of Peter Tao.

The night ended in triumph for Woodson, with the boys team winning the regional championship while the girls team placed second, short of only eight points against Robinson High School. Both the girls and boys team will be advancing to States for the 200 yard medley relay and 200 yard and 400 yard free relay, along with individual swimmers Aiken Do, Jillian Ferrari, Ava Craig, John Shaefer, Colleen Read, Kathleen Modder, and Ben Brandt for their own events. 

While the boys team did not perform as well as they had hoped to the day before in the preliminary competition, ending in fifth place, they “rallied and pulled together,” said Coach Susan Hamrock. “They let their bodies do the work and didn’t worry about the score.” This tense atmosphere, Hamrock added, created a “very exciting competition that was really fun to watch,” she exclaimed. 

Although the boys team dominated throughout the competition, the girls team was in a tight race for first with Robinson for the duration of the event. They were tied going into the last relay, but ended in second when they lost the race.

Swimmers also received the chance to shine independently from the rest of the team by competing in individual events. Junior Ava Craig won the 200 Yard Freestyle while senior Aiken Do and junior Jillian Ferrari not only won their events, but broke the previous regional records.

A Woodson athlete competes in a backstroke event.

Reflecting on her performance, Ferrari said, “I knew with the cheering of my teammates and all of the hype I was going to go out and do my best.”

Coach Hamrock credits this success to the “group cohesion [that] makes it more successful and fun for individuals.” She described how “we have a really strong team and try to do team functions and team dinners [etc]… to make it a tight-knit group.”

Ferrari echoed this sentiment, saying “all of the cheering and positive energy that people bring to the pool plays a huge role… [it] was awesome for all the swimmers to have that level of support.”

Although the boys and girls team ended only in sixth place in the state competition, the boys 200 yard freestyle relay team, Aiken Do for the 50 yard freestyle and Ferrari for the 100 yard backstroke became state champions.

Even considering this impressive accomplishment, Coach Hamrock is most proud of her students “for being so resilient and pulling together… and cheering together.” Thinking about the future she says, “as long as they maintain this spirit I know our team will be just as strong next year… swim always has a large group and it just keeps on going.”