Girl’s swim team heads to sectionals


Lisa Furnas

The girl’s swim team celebrates Senior Night before the end of the regular season.

Gabriella Di Lalla, Staff Writer

The girl’s swim team will be competing at sectionals next weekend.

Emma Burkey is a junior captain on the swim team. She said, “Everyone has worked so hard this season which has resulted in great improvement across the board.”

Senior Lily Stenroos is a senior captain and thinks head coach Rick Balcam has motivated the girls to do well by pushing them at practices. She said, “[Coach Rick] expects a lot from the girl’s team and calculates the chances we have to win by counting points before the meet and tells us to just swim fast and have fun.”

Coach Rick prepared the girls last week by putting them through hell week, which means they endured lots of stroke work besides freestyle. He said, “It just is really to get the body completely fatigued, and that way, when you start resting, you start feeling your body changing, and develop a sense of confidence and comfortable swimming the week after.”

During hell week, the girls were pushed by doing the most yardage they have yet to do. This included six practices, not including their 5:30am practices.

Burkey said to prepare for sectionals next weekend, they’ll now do a week of tapering. “Taper is a great way to get ready for the big meets. During taper, the yardage decreases, and the send-offs increase. During this time we typically focus on sprinting as well as tweaking the little things,” said Burkey.

During taper, the girls’ muscles will finally get a break after four months of non-stop swimming. Burkey said, “Taper most importantly is a time where we swim just enough to activate our muscles to get ready for the next meets and gain self-confidence.”

Coach Rick thinks the girls have shown resilience as they haven’t backed down from challenges. He said, “They get hit and hit back twice as hard. They are a solid group of girls, very solid.”

Covid has restricted the girl’s swim team a lot this year, whether that was not being able to have pasta dinners, or hanging out as a team. Burkey said, “But, with the family-like environment we have built we can comfortably share our struggles and conflicts, fighting through them as a team. We even added a new mascot this year, Gagina the monkey.”

Sectionals will take place on Saturday, Feb. 12 at SPIRE Institute.