Wakefield swim team inspires unique community

Maya Johnson and Lauren Rochelle

When asked to explain their success, most athletes will attribute their accomplishments to hard work, practice, or sometimes even pure skill. However, only a few athletes are able to acknowledge the effect that their team can have on their accomplishments. 

One of these athletes is Wakefield swim team captain Izzy Ferraro who shares the sentiment that her community is a large part of the experience.

“[My favorite part of swimming] is the group of people,” Ferraro said. “At practice, we always manage to make it fun even when we’re working hard.”

After last year’s season became restricted due to COVID protocols, Ferraro relents that the team remains stronger than ever.

“This year, we got to do swim dinners, we had more time to talk to each other during meets and there were a lot more people on the team this year,” Ferraro said.

Although the season was restricted to only three regular meets due to weather and COVID protocols, swimmers still managed to make the best of the situation. The team made incredible progress this year, and a few swimmers went on to regional and state competitions. 

What brings me back year after year is that I feel like we are truly a different type of family.

— Wainio

Swim coach Courtney Wainio expressed her pride in her team’s work over the season.

“I just love to see the improvement,” Wainio said. “If you start somewhere, it’s rewarding to see as a coach where you end up at the end of the season.”

One of this year’s captains, Tristan Weiss, explains how many memories were still made despite the smaller team. 

“For the guys’ team, we had a record low of 10 people, but this year we still had a lot of fun and a lot of memories were made,” Weiss said. 

Instead of the usual 50 teammates, only about 30 swimmers made up Wakefield’s 2022 swim team. However, the team still took measures to ensure that winning as a team is possible.

“Instead of usually winning a meet, we were more going for individual wins,” Weiss said. 

One of Wakefield’s newest additions to the team, ninth-grader Scotia Brown, addresses how this swim season has affected her. 

“Being around people at the swim meets is fun and it’s not very serious for me, as a year-long swimmer,” Scotia said. ” You have fun doing what you love and you meet a lot of nice, cool people.” 

As Tristan counts his final days as a senior swimmer, Scotia counts her last days in the first of four years on Wakefield’s swim team and she’s eager for the successful seasons to come. 

Anyone looking to be a part of such a tight-knit community is encouraged to try out for the team next winter, regardless of skill level.

“What brings me back year after year is that I feel like we are truly a different type of family,” Wainio said.