Girls make splash


Junior Riley Pietras races in the 200 yard individula medley at the metaea valley invite on oct16th. photo by Nicole Posont

Sophia Woods, Sports Editor

As the girls are diving headfirst into swim season, with standout upperclassmen, Varsity coach George Sam has high hopes for the girls this season. 

Junior Riley Pietras as well as seniors Ashley Franckowiak and Madi Boor are all having a strong season.  

Main goals for us have been to try and get back to doing things as a team, dropping time, getting ready to compete for a sectional title and hopefully get some state qualifiers this year,” Sam said.

Franckowiak, as well as Sam, is hoping that team- wise the girls will be able to pull off a state qualifying time. More personally, she has goals for herself. “Right now, my most improved time is my 100 free,” Franckowiak said. “I have gotten down to a 56.98 seconds and I’m really hoping to be sub 55 when we rest in a couple weeks,”

Pietras is also aiming for a state qualifying time with the coaching of Sam. She finds his positive attitude and helpful presence inspire her to succeed. 

“[He helps] see potential in me no matter the circumstances whether it’s in practice during a hard set or at a meet racing against some of the fastest girls in the state.” Pietras says.

Along with support and a confident backbone, Sam finds that keeping the girls on their toes is key to success. “[I] keep coming up with challenges and working with swimmers to make the necessary changes and improve,” Sam said. 

Senior Madison Boor has found that pushing herself is key to helping her improve as a swimmer and a person. 

Challenges are what make us improve whether it be on or off the pool deck, we can learn from the difficulties we face and for me, they make me excited to accomplish my goals.” Boor said. “[They] allow for growth and new opportunities because you know you can get past those ”walls” or ”obstacles” at the end of the day and you know how much hard work you put in to do so.”

While this intense form of training is valuable to some, other girls find that positivity and confidence is the best method. 

“Work best with positive reinforcement,” Franckowiak said. “Being yelled at and pushed to breaking points is not how I strive, instead working on specifics and hitting my goals with support works really well for me.”

No matter what method of training the girls respond to, by practicing the sport itself a lot, it allows the girls to dissolve nerves about performance and focus on the large mental block associated with individual sports. Without a team to rely on during the race, one of the biggest competitors is their own minds. 

“I know I can rely on my body and hard work at practice and all I can give is all I got,” Boor said. “Sometimes a race or meet can feel heavy so I try to feel as light as possible which we all do as a team in many ways by blasting music on the bus before a meet, doing our team cheer, stretching together, and talking to Coach Sam and Coach Nolsen before races.”

Despite being an individual- time based sport the team bond holds value to the girls during the season. Between cheering each other on and inspiring one another to do well in practice, the girls agree their teammates make them stronger in and out of the water.

“We have multiple team bondings throughout the year and those really help with establishing relationships,” Franckowiak said. “When we truly all want the best for each other, the team really succeeds as a whole”. 

To most, swimming is about the number on the board but to these girls, it is their escape. “Swimming is a part of my life that allows me to let go.” Boor said.