Swim team sophomores make a splash

Swim team sophomores make a splash

Megan Doyle, Staff Writer


Although the Staples boys’ swim and dive team season has only just begun, they have already made an impact. With newfound talent from the freshman and sophomores, the swim and dive team has beaten both Westhill and Fairfield-Ludlowe co-op.

Despite their loss of seniors, the team has upheld their enthusiasm from last year.

“It was sad to see last year’s seniors go because we lost a lot of depth and speed, but it seems like we are recovering surprisingly well, which is exciting,”  captain Mark Schacter ’16, said.

Part of this recovery was due to their influx of talent, especially from the sophomores. Nicolas Ortega ’18 and Dashiell Hunter ’18, both of whom train with the YMCA Water Rats have qualified for the YMCA Nationals. According to Schacter, this is very hard to do.  

Roughly 1200 athletes participate in the meet ranging from 7th-12th grade,” Frisk Driscoll, the coach for both the YMCA Water Wrats and the Staples team said, “It is considered a premier meet with a ton of D1 coaches in the stands.”

Ortega and Hunter have been mentioned as ‘key players’ because of their exceptional performances in certain events. Hunter is able to bring a very fast breaststroke to the team, while Ortega specializes in freestyle.

There are multiple examples of these two sophomores helping the team. Ortega specifically remembered both FCAICs and LL finals as meets where he benefited the team.

“I got into the top 8 for the 400 free, giving the team the points we needed to be able to get 4th at FCIACs and 5th at LL Finals,” Ortega said.

Hunter argues that there were no specific meets in which he helped the team win, because it’s a collective effort from all of them. However, he does agree that it feels great to win a race, because “you know the effort you’ve put in at practice has been worth it.”

According to the coach, Frisk Driscoll, the amount of time Ortega and Hunter put into swimming is enormous.

Both of them put in countless hours before and after school, Monday through Saturday, and both bring a high level of intensity to each and every practice,” Driscoll said.

Frisk Driscoll said their achievements also impact the rest of the team, making them better and try harder.

“[Ortega and Hunter’s] teammates see these guys pushing their bodies to the limit everyday and that work ethic can become contagious.”

However, practice isn’t the only time these sophomores inspire the rest of the team.

“It’s a lot of fun and super exciting to watch them race,” Schacter said.  “It really gets the team going.”