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Boys’ Swim and Dive Does It All

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Another successful year is almost in the books for the boys swim team. The regular season was highlighted by hard work and record setting times, and now the team is geared up to make a run at the state tournament.
The preparation for the next swim season starts almost immediately after the previous one ends. Essentially, there is no off-season for Fenwick swimmers. To stay in the top notch condition that swimming requires, many double as water polo players in the spring. This has helped to bolster the dynasty water polo program full of athletes year after year.
Senior Jamie Heneghan said, “During the off season, many of us are involved with the water polo team, so that keeps us in shape. In fact, I think water polo is better exercise than swimming, so it really helps keep us all fit during the offseason.”
Once in season, however, the swimmers push themselves even further, as the daily workouts and practices are extremely intense.
When asked about the practices, Senior Tommy Bartecki commented that the Fenwick coaching staff “does a really nice job of tailoring our practices to work on each team member’s individual weaknesses.”
Although the practices are grueling, they create a great feeling of group camaraderie, as every person on the team battles together.
While talking about the intensity of practice, senior Zach Dolsen said, “Practices usually last for about two hours and consist of almost unending swimming. I feel confident in saying that I am in the best shape I will ever be in my entire life, and I credit it to being on the swim team.”
Even though the practices can seem excessive during the heart of the season, the general consensus on the team is that the work put in shows once it comes to the meets, especially those at the end of the year.
Managing the workloads that the swim team and a Fenwick education requires is no small task, yet the swimmers still find a way to excel. The team features a National Merit Semifinalist as well as a National Merit Commended student. Each of these honors require a PSAT score among the top 50,000 high school students from across the country.
Swimmers traditionally make their presence known on the honor roll and in National Honor Society. These distinctions prove to be more remarkable since the schoolwork is combined with practices during the week. Dolsen said, “The weekly practice schedule is almost impossible to manage along with schoolwork. Two a day practices are common (morning and afternoon), and when you throw in meets, I am always amazed I am able to handle everything.”
Athletes on the swim team do more than just swim and school work, however. Senior Tommy Bartecki is also a member of the math team among other clubs, and said that the hardest part of the long season is managing a sleep schedule.
“With multiple hour long math team practices with Mr. Finnell, swim practice, and hours of homework, its difficult to find time to sleep.”
Somehow, despite the lack of sleep and sore muscles, the team finds a way to get it done from Thanksgiving break to late winter, an accomplishment that anyone could be proud of.
The boys have some fun on the swim team as well, and much of this stems from the rich traditions of the Fenwick Men’s swimming team. At the end of the year, the senior swimmers get to shave the heads of all the freshman swimmers on the team, a tradition that dates back more than 50 years.
Senior Ivan Soto said that this is his favorite sort of the swim team. “Shaving the freshman’s hair at the end of the season is by far the best part of the being a senior on the swim team, and I looked forward to it all year. It was my motivation to make it through the season, actually. ”
In addition to the shaved heads, dozens of donuts are always brought to morning practices. “After swimming a tough practice, eating six donuts is pretty much nothing to me,” says senior Jamie Heneghan.
These donuts after morning practice are essential, however, because they keep the swimmers full and able to concentrate in their morning classes until lunch comes.
The team this year has done their best to keep the strong tradition of Fenwick aquatics alive, and are poised to represent the Friars well at state. Most importantly, the team continually performs well in the classroom, a near impossible feat given the nature of the swim season. Look out for the Fenwick boys swim and dive team, as they continue to rack up successes inside and outside of the pool.

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Boys’ Swim and Dive Does It All