Swimmers take their positions to begin their event, in this case, the womens 100M backstroke. While this hasnt been Wakefields strongest event, the points contributed from it have proven valuable in the teams hunt for the championship.
Swimmers take their positions to begin their event, in this case, the women’s 100M backstroke. While this hasn’t been Wakefield’s strongest event, the points contributed from it have proven valuable in the team’s hunt for the championship.
Gaby Sciaudone

Tenacity at the center of success for Wakefield swim and dive

As is often the case in the sports world, hard work lies at the heart of everything athletes do. This couldn’t be more true for Wakefield’s swim and dive team, who, after having a conference win taken away from them last year, have taken the next step this season with their hopes set high. After the women’s team came so close to winning their conference last season, losing out to Millbrook simply because Wakefield didn’t have divers, the need for Wakefield’s head coach, Courtney Wainio, to add divers was obvious. She knows that this addition is vital to the team’s chances at success this season, but also acknowledges the dedication associated with diving.

“We had a couple of girls who signed up this year and they’re sticking it out,” Wainio said. “They’re getting training [and] lessons on the side to help them. It’s a lot to be prepared for [a dive competition], so I’m impressed that these two girls are trying so hard and that they’re in the mix with competition.”

Aside from the divers providing vital points in the team’s search for a conference victory, the swimmers have also played their part by putting the women’s team into a current second-place ranking in the conference, just behind rival Millbrook. Sophie Hanna, a senior on the team, knows that they will have to keep up their encouragement for one another to succeed at the end of the season.

“As a team, I’m hoping we just encourage one another and continue to push each other to do our best,” Hanna said.

I’ve had the goal since I was a little kid to go to the Olympics, so that kind of pushes me to keep going til I get that goal.

— Harrison

Despite the fact that the men’s team hasn’t seen quite as much success as the women’s this year, Joey Harrison, a junior, has had quite the rollercoaster of the season. Harrison missed the first meet due to illness and had to fight his way back up the standings as a result of this. He has been able to move up, and largely attributes that to one specific motivation.

“I’ve had the goal since I was a little kid to go to the Olympics, so that kind of pushes me to keep going til I get that goal,” Harrison said.

As previously mentioned, the divers, who are  new to the team this year, have the important job of scoring points vital to Wakefield’s championship dreams. Maya Raftery, a freshman diver, knows that her role on the team is important, and acknowledges the hardships that come with it.

“There’s a lot of mental roadblocks, so it’s hard to get over those,” Raftery said. “But, once you get over those challenges, it gets easier.”

While this season has been full of challenges for Wakefield’s swimmers and divers, their results up to this point in the season have proven their resilience and their ability to overcome adversity. Nobody knows for sure what the rest of the season holds, but no matter what, Wainio is proud of her team.

“We have a lot of guys who work hard every day at practice, and they are improving each time they swim, which is awesome. A lot of girls are too,” Wainio said. “The kids are working hard.”

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