The ORHS Swimming and Diving boys team received first place in the states meet with a final score of 205 points while the girls team placed third with a final score of 136 points. The meet was held this past weekend on February 14th and 15th at the UNH Swasey pool.
Ashley Caverly, first year head coach of the Oyster River High School Swimming and Diving team is proud of the teams performance at states and throughout the season. “There are really no words for the experience I had working with this group of swimmers. It has been the most rewarding, challenging, and memorable experience ever,” said Caverly.
Many of the swimmers set new personal records in their events. Both the boys and girls teams had many scoring athletes. The scoring boys include Jake Sarnowski who placed 4th in the 200 freestyle (1:57.24), and 3rd in the 500 freestyle (5:15.33), William Carrico who placed 3rd in the 200 IM (2:05.53), Andrew Kelly who placed 6th in the 200 IM (2:22.95), Garrett Keslar who placed 5th in the 100 butterfly (57.29), and 4th in the 100 backstroke (59.04), Chris Crosbie-Villaseca who placed 5th in the 100 freestyle (53.17), and Emerson Moore who placed 6th in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.91).
The scoring girle include Emily Burnap who placed 5th in the 200 freestyle (2:00.33), and 5th in the 100 freestyle (56.34), Alicia Sarnowski who placed 6th in the 200 freestyle (2:02.05), and Addie Berglund who placed 6th in the 100 butterfly (1:03.10.)
Divers also achieved results with Aidan Covell (‘21) placed second with a score of 323.05, and William Carrico (‘23) placed fifth with a score of 223.45.
“I love the atmosphere of the meet. I’ve been both my freshman year and sophomore year but it feels so great to be competing with the best swimmers in the state. Everyone congratulated you after your race,” said Emerson Moore (‘21).
When it comes down to it, swimming is mostly an individual sport because the athlete is in the water racing by themselves. The points made from each on the team are added together, but the swimming itself is dependent on individual swimmers, unless the event is a relay. Members of the team have made friendships and bonded in and out of the water especially through cheering one another on.
“I feel like the whole team is a family and we all cheer each other on and want each other to succeed,” said Moore.
“I think overall highlights from the meet would be on the boys 200 freestyle relay and the boys 400 freestyle relay. They were really close on both of them and the whole team was cheering and everyone in the stands was cheering. They were super intense races,” said Maggie Sperry (‘21), an athlete on the girls team. The boys achieved a time of 1:54.10 for the 200 freestyle relay and a time of 3:35.71 for the 400 free relay.
Swimmers are encouraged to make personal goals for themselves in the beginning of the season and throughout, whether they are big or small. Caverly tries her best to help the athletes meet their goals and sometimes step out of their comfort zone when swimming events in practices as well as meets. She has led many of the swimmers to success.
“I feel that I helped push the swimmers by working with them to approach their worries and concerns for each race. Instead of focusing on the negative I challenged them to see both the small achievements and large achievements they have made over the course of the season that would support them in a great race,” said Caverly. Having the skill of reassuring swimmers before a race is important as a coach because it allows swimmers to feel comfortable and more confident in the event they are swimming.
“Ashley was very supportive […] she helped me when I was struggling with everything that happened in my life the past couple of months,” said Sperry. Caverly allowed the athletes to be more relaxed and excited rather than nervous and negative when they are focusing on the achievements that they have made.
Elli Donovan (‘22) swam in the meet. She had tons of fun all season and had been looking forward to the states meet. “Everyone was cheering each other on and helped make things very exciting […] I love how supportive everyone was of each other and it was super cool to watch the boys get first place and help the girls get third,” said Donovan. The team will continue to work hard next season, in hopes to make more progress and score even more points!
Picture taken by Matt Parker