Starting with a splash

Nov. 24, 2004, midnight | By Kristina Yang | 16 years, 2 months ago

Boys', girls' swim teams expect strong season

For both Blair's boys' and girls' swim teams, winter 2003-2004 was a rebuilding season. After graduating over 20 seniors the year before, the boys' squad ended the 2004 season 2-4, while the girls finished at 1-5. The teams took a combined fifth-place finish in Division I standings last year, which was particularly disappointing in light of the boys' 2003 Division I Championship title.

Few Blazers departed in 2004, however, and Coach David Swaney expects a strong performance from his returning upperclassmen swimmers this season as a result of this high return rate. Swimmers to watch include senior captains Patrick Detzner and Ariel Hapler-Stromberg as well as junior captain Tyler Wilchek, says Swaney.

In addition to this strong core group of veteran swimmers, the Blazers will also be bolstered by the addition of several new talents, including freshmen Sam Bullard-Sisken, Tim Peng, and Yang Yang. "We have a lot of fast freshman,” says sophomore swimmer Eric Su. "We're definitely a lot better!”

"The boys' strength is really everything,” Swaney adds, explaining that the Blazers should not only finish the season strong, but also has the potential to go far in postseason competitions. "The boys should do real well,” Swaney says. "We have a shot at winning counties.”

Though Swaney says that the Blair girls' squad is a bit weaker than its boys' counterpart this year, he foresees that they too will be able to improve this season. Despite losing captain Robin Hernandez to graduation last year, the Blazer girls are returning much of their talent this year and expects to improve on its previous records. Key swimmers include senior captain Kendra Williams and junior captains Anna Chiplis and Kelsey Dean, and several new freshmen are also expected to be a benefit to Blair's squad. "We're a lot better this year,” sophomore Christie Lin says happily. "It'll be awesome!”

Unfortunately for the Blair girls, however, the graduations of Elizabeth Finn and Denise Scylla last year leave the team with no returning female divers this season. "We're going to have a hard time with divers,” Swaney explains. "Elizabeth used to get first place a lot; we're going to miss Elizabeth.”

Despite shaky diving, however, both teams expect that a combination of returning talent and fresh blood will be able to boost their Division I standings this year. "We have six great captains,” Swaney says with a smile. "They're fun and good-natured, just great, and we're going to have a lot of fun this season!”

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Kristina Yang. Kristina Yang is 1/10 of the Blair girls' volleyball team. When not on the court, she most likely to be running away from Magnet math homework, trying to pay off her three speeding/redlight tickets, or feeding her bubble tea addiction. She would also like to … More »

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