KO Girls Swim to Victory
With a record of 9 wins and only 3 losses this season, the Keystone Oaks Girls swim team has had one of the most successful seasons of the last several years.
With such a legacy of success, the team has no doubt seen the introduction of strong leadership, which many attribute to senior and captain Sarah Reilly. Sarah believes that the team owes its success to changes, in that “the team has gotten a lot more serious about really working for what it wants, especially with five new freshman (Audrey Durham, Alicia Lehman, Bella Digiacomo, Victoria Herzer, and Sarah Chormanski) coming in who were really excited about being on the high school team.” Additionally, Sarah commented that “the girls team is very close and supportive of each other which has helped a lot,” acknowledging the close bond the girls have not only on the pool deck, but off as well. This bond is furthered by some special traditions the team has formed over the years, of which include “snow rolling in our swimsuits”, and a new one for this season, as the girls have “decided to dye a part of our hair blue for WPIALS!”
As a result of the recent changes to the team, not only did the girls’ win-loss record improve, but the 200-medley relay, composed of Cassidy Grabowski (10), Audrey Durham (9), Hayley Fredrick (11), and Sarah Reilly (12), made WPIAL time (as previously mentioned), an honor for the girls.
“We all worked really hard to make it work and wanted it more than anything this season… we are beyond excited to go,” stated Reilly.
While the team faced undeniable successes, there were challenges along the way, notably with a tough meet at Ringgold, where tensions occurred between the swimmers and new referees they hadn’t seen before. Regardless of this challenge, Reilly maintained a positive attitude.
“Even though it was hard, it only made us better,” said Reilly.
In addition to herself, Reilly believes that junior Hayley Fredrick, who was also captain of the soccer team, “just has that leadership role in here” and “is good at getting the team to calm down and be quiet when the time is needed.”
Further, Reilly noted that Grabowski, being the only sophomore on the team, “has some great qualities in her that bring the team together.”
After such a gratifying season, Reilly hopes that in the future she can “come back and see how much the others are going to push themselves to be better.” She believes that “the five freshman who joined the team are strong and will continue making the team better as they become seniors, and the juniors (Jessica Timczyk, Hayley Fredrick, and Abby McGrath) will lead the team to plenty of victories next year; I have no doubt about that.”
Unfortunately, while the girls’ team has exceeded expectations this season, the boys’ team has ended the season with a record of 2 wins and 10 losses, which Reilly believes to be a result of “the team definitely growing smaller, and next year there most likely won’t be any boys swimming at all, which is a huge detriment to the team.”