Keystone Oaks School District News Article

Aqua Club and swim team are back and making a SPLASH

Fall sports are coming to an end, so make way for the swim team, one of Keystone Oaks’ biggest winter sports.

Coached by Bill Straw, the Keystone Oaks Coed Varsity Swim Team is prepared for an epic season full of newcomers and old-timers alike. Last winter season, the team lost some key swimmers due to graduations, so this year they are happy to announce many new freshmen are joining the team. Some of the freshmen have already competed with the older swimmers in Aqua Club, a program for all ages up to 18, interested in swimming. This is a way to stay sharp in the off season as well as participate in sharpening their skills and strokes. It also socializes the younger swimmers with those of the high school team.

The team has high hopes for this season; after accomplishing a lot last year, goals are even higher this season.

“I hope we could take a senior, junior, sophomore, freshman relay team to states this year. We have in the past, and it was a tradition...our Coach [Straw] believes we can do it again,” said freshman Audrey Durham, who has swam on the middle school team.

Her personal goal for the season is to “qualify for W.P.I.A.L.’s (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League) as a freshman,” and hopes to also “break the 100m breaststroke time.”

Newly inducted teammate, Alicia Lehman, says that the overall goal for the team is “to have the most people qualify for W.P.I.A.L.’s” and hopes to be one of them.

“I am very excited for the season because I know some of the swimmers already from the Aqua Club and the middle school team. They are some of the most admirable and welcoming people that I could ask for.”

Other goals for the team are a bit unusual.

“[We want] to get Coach Straw off topic as much as possible during practice. This way, we won’t have to do so many laps,” said freshman Victoria Herzer, the team comedian, apparently.

The freshmen are getting prepared to compete on a whole new level, larger meets, longer practices, and more vigorous training to stay sharp.

“Although practices will be much harder than any other team I’ve been on, I couldn’t be happier. This is such a great group to have swimming right next beside me and through all of the craziness that will be thrown at me,” said Lehman.

“I feel comfortable going in as a new swimmer because I already know the coach and some of the teammates from previous teams,” said Herzer, who has participated on the Green Tree Sharks Summer Program, Keystone Oaks Aqua Club, and the K.O. Middle school teams. Her personal goal is to “improve my times (in all events) and become a better swimmer than I was at the beginning of the season.”

If you are looking for an ambitious swim program to enhance your previous swim skills or stay active in the winter months, swim team may be for you. The first swim meet is on Tuesday, December 8th, against Bishop Canevin High School, so make sure so stop by and show your support for our swimmers. Let’s give a round of applause to the swimmers who will dive right into the K.O. Swim Team family and will make a splash this winter season.

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