Wakefield swim dives into a successful season


Photo Courtesy of Erin Stewart

Joey Harrison dives in for his 100 freestyle against Holly Springs, Sanderson and Heritage. He won second place finishing his event in 52 seconds.

Nara Hamburger and Yusha Ahsan

As winter sports push through the season, athletes and coaches strive to accomplish their personal and team goals. While swimming may be a team sport, it is also heavily focused on self-improvement. Wakefield High School’s swim team has been working towards their own goals while supporting their teammates in hopes of a fun and great season.

Coach Wainio has been coaching Wakefield’s swim team for nine years. After coming up with a plan for practice on a given day, Wainio guides her swimmers through the sets.

Comparing yourself to others in swimming is kind of pointless.

— Regan

“[There is] a lane that has faster intervals, and as you go down they are slower and slower,” Wainio said. “One lane might get a little more yardage that day, it is based on their ability levels. I check in with everybody [so that] I can explain what they need to do.”

Practice is held every day at the YMCA pool deck after school for an hour, and the team makes sure to put in their best effort at each workout. While the practice time may be short, there is little downtime, so the team is always working. The team begins with stretches led by the captains, followed by rigorous sets. Each workout is based on its own needs and abilities, so each swimmer is able to improve at a specific pace. 

“My least favorite part is pull days or swimming butterfly because they are both extremely tiring,” Brooklyn Weiss, a junior on the swim team said. 

Jackie Regan is a sophomore on the swim team who has been competitively swimming for two years. She elaborates on her overall objective for this season, and why she strives for individuality when competing. 

“I’m trying to drop time, and improve myself,” Regan said. “Comparing yourself to others in swimming is kind of pointless.”

Jaclyn Cronin, Bentley Scott, Ava Wright and Caroline Kozubowski prepare for the 200-freestyle relay on Jan 3. The meet took place at the Triangle Aquatic Center against Holly Springs, Sanderson and Heritage. (Photo Courtesy of Erin Stewart)

One of the main hardships the team must persevere through is the lack of attendance. Sickness and other school extracurriculars can interfere with practice, making consistency a tough conflict. 

“Clubs are exactly at the same time as practice, so we battle that a little during the season, but that is nothing new,” Wainio said. “This is [also] the time of year when everyone is getting sick, so we are always missing someone.”

Supporting and empowering their peers surrounding them is crucial for these swimmers. They get the opportunity to bond during team dinners and bus rides. At times, the team participates in karaoke bus rides, which gets everyone energetic and excited for the meet. 

“[My favorite part about the team is] definitely the people,” Ava Wright, a junior on the team said. “It is kind of like a family when you are around them, and it is a lot of fun.”