By Andrew Raynus— International & National News Editor
The Sharon High School boys and girls swim team hopes to build on past successes at the midpoint of their exciting winter season.
The swim team’s season began in November with about thirty swimmers. At meets, teams race in events of different strokes and distances. The top finishers earn points that determine who wins a dual meet between two teams. The regular season culminates in a huge meet against all of the teams in the Hockomock League. The fastest swimmers can then qualify to compete in the sectional and all-state meets.
The boys are coming off of a historic season where they were back-to-back Hockomock League champions and set multiple new school records. They are going for a ‘three-peat’ this year with their very talented roster, whose regular season has ended in an undefeated record. The girls are coming off 4th place in the Hock last season and are looking to recover after a rocky start. Both teams will compete in the Hockomock Championship Meet on February 3rd and 4th in Milford.
Coach Sara Barbera says the season has been going well for both sides despite challenges. “The boys are just spectacular. They’re undefeated. The girls, I think if we had maybe four or five more girls, we would have a good shot at being over 0.500 win percentage,” said Barbera. This is her second year as the team’s coach.
Girls and boys captains Malika Angaian, Emma Bates, David Bai, and Andrew Raynus are hoping to further improve their team culture outside of the pool as the season continues. “We want our team to be more bonded. We want our team to be more excited and hyped at meets and we want people to take practice seriously,” said Angaian.
Freshman swimmer Justen Hsu says the atmosphere is much more welcoming than club swimming. “I feel like it’s more of a team sport than being on a club team because you swim for yourself on club,” said Hsu.
Barbera likes to see the comradery that the team has built over the past month and a half. “Very quickly the captains set up a GroupMe for a text, so there’s a lot of banter back and forth on that, which is often pretty funny,” said Barbera.
“And I think secret psycher is a big part of it because it gives them a connection to another person on the team who they may not have ever been connected to before,” she added.
The captains say the team has a strong connection that contributes to their performance in the water and outside of practice altogether. “There’s a lot of talking on the bus, a lot of laughter, a lot of song requests. We see some talking outside of swim at school too. We see some group chats, we see some new friends being made,” said Angaian.
There is a common sentiment among the team however that their efforts and success deserve more recognition among the school community. “We’re D1 swimming. Boys team at least won every single meet. Who knows about the Sharon high school swim team? Nobody,” said junior JT Woolner.