Swimming may seem like a quiet sport at first, since all of the athletes are holding their breath the entire time, but a Red Lion swimming meet is anything but silent.
Despite the hot and humid atmosphere, the bleachers are crammed with enthusiastic parents, siblings, and swimming alumni. In such an enclosed space, the roar of the crowd and athletes rivals that of a football stadium. Everything from the encouraging chants to the coach’s yellow and white Converse screams school spirit.
Athletes are always crowded on the side of the pool, ready to scream encouragement at their teammates. Their spirit percolates through everything, making the team more connected.
The spirit is well-deserved, since the team is having a successful season. The team already has wins against New Oxford and Northeastern under their belts.
The team only has five seniors this year, so the underclassmen have a chance to make a splash. Junior Jacob Lorenzen has contributed to several winning meets for the boys. Freshman Cheryl Bingaman and junior Kailyn Bennett have also been instrumental in raising the girls’ team’s score.
“Jacob Lorenzen is one of our shining stars. He is well on track to beating a few school records,” Head Coach Hannah Coligan said. “A few other boys to mention are Brayden Stein, Jack Anderson, Matthew Lanius, who won Athlete of the Week, Nathaniel Chan, and Shane McDaniel. They are all dedicated swimmers and vital assets to the team.”
But the boys’ success does not overshadow the girls’ victories. Senior Jessica Sun, a four-year veteran of the team, is vying for the best season of her career.
“Jessica Sun is also a shining star” Miss Coligan said. “She can always pull out a win, no matter what event she is swimming.”
During the meet against Northeastern, Sun beat her closest competitor in the 500 yard freestyle event by over ten seconds. In a sport where even milliseconds count, Sun has proven that the Lions are fierce competitors this season.
As a first-year head coach at Red Lion, Miss Coligan is excited to interact with the athletes and cheer on their achievements.
“I love seeing their times drop. The look on their faces when they get a personal record is so gratifying,” Miss Coligan said.
They all work so hard and they amaze me meet after meet. I think I have them figured out and then they do something to surprise me.”
With long nights spent at the pool paying off, the team is already looking forward to the county competitions. A majority of the boys’ team has qualified for counties as well as a handful of the girls’ team. Both the coach and players are hopeful that the team’s spirit will lead them to the deep end of the postseason.