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The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Swim team continues to raise the bar for success

Whether it’s backstroke, breaststroke, or the complicated learning curve to the butterfly, the swim team worked hard for their success this season. Progressive build-up of anaerobic and aerobic activities lead the team off to the ultimate success: the VHSL Class 4 state meet. 

“Our swimmers continued to beat their personal best times week in and week out, and many swimmers gradually added new stroke events or longer distance events to their meet event schedules,” head coach Jay Wareham said. Wareham has assembled a team of 33 swimmers, 17 boys and 16 girls, as well as two managers. 

Wareham is also assisted by coach Benjamin Graham where they have the team practicing three times a week from 8:30 to 9:30 at night at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center. “The challenge we have always faced is our limited practice time,” Wareham said. 

Despite the time limitations, the team continuously made efforts to improve and took to other swim opportunities to improve their skills. “A few of our swimmers train with a USA swimming club team as well in the early morning hours,” Wareham said.

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Practice consists of a 15 minute stretch before the team hops in the pool to warm up in preparation for their workout. Depending on the day, some swimmers will work on drills and increasing their fitness level, while some take on diving and improving technique. 

“I was super proud of everyone this season,” senior Kyle Armitage said. Armitage has been swimming competitively for seven years and was introduced to the sport by senior Robert Suttie

Armitage went onto states in two individual events, the 100 M and 200 M, where he successfully snagged a personal best in both events. “This was an accomplishment for me because, since my freshman year, I only went to states for relays or one individual event,” Armitage said. 

As Armitage reminisced on the season as a senior, he was thankful to swim his final race with senior Kai Tjader. “It was both of our last ever high school races, we just took it all in and enjoyed the moment,” Armitage said. (Kai Tjader, Kyle Armitage, Eric Akers, Zach Bell, Alan Crouse, Jay Wareham, and Benjamin Graham.)

The girl’s team finished third at districts, second at regions, and scored points to place 25th at states. The boy’s team finished third at districts and regions and scored points to place 18th at states. 

“For the first time since I have been coaching here, we moved on swimmers in 24 of 24 events to the Regional Championship meet,” Wareham said. The team then advanced 18 more onto the state meet, with the girl’s team setting the record for the highest finishing score at regionals.

Out of the 18 swimmers that advanced, ten made it onto the state finals which included the top 16 teams or individuals in each event from the state preliminary heats. “Overall, our season was excellent. I could not be more proud of our team. We are continuing to maintain a high level of excellence and continuing to raise the bar in our program as a whole,” Wareham said.

“I was super proud of everyone this season,” Armitage said. “Even if they didn’t make it to postseason meets, everyone had their best times during the season.” Armitage expressed how much he saw his teammates overperform in their events and make achievements beyond their original goals. 

“The swim team environment is like a family,” senior Maya Kunzelman said. Kunzelman has been swimming since doing swimkids when she was younger and competes primarily in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle. 

“It’s a really fun way to stay active and push yourself while also having the support of your teammates and coaches,” Kunzelman said. “Everyone is welcome, and our great coaches and teammates build you up to your potential,” Armitage said. 

As the season concludes, the team celebrates with visits to IHOP to celebrate their successes over a long season. “Our seniors ended their high school career on high notes,” Wareham said. “The future is bright for our program.”

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Cat Pizzarello
Cat Pizzarello, editor-in-chief
Cat Pizzarello is a senior at Loudoun County High School. This is her third year on The County Chronicle newspaper staff and she will be serving as an editor-in-chief this year.  She really enjoys writing a variety of different articles throughout the year. Outside of newspapers, she is very involved in the cross country and track teams at LCHS since freshman year and mainly does distance events. She also really enjoys listening to music, hiking and hanging out with her family and friends.

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