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Swimmers Get to States with Team Support

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Gilmour State Swimmers are congratulated at Convocation. From left to right: Matt Vanone (`20), Celeste Koerwitz (`19), Peyton Rudman (`18), Cate O’Haimhirgin (`20), Grace Valenza (`20), Meadow Hynd (`19), Anna Frank (`20), Abby Meyer (`21) and Ania Lewis (`21)
State Bound Swimmers are celebrating and showing off their strength after the National Catholic School meet in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gilmour Academy Swimming sent one Lancer and eight Lady Lancers to the Division II State Swim Meet. Getting to states took a lot of hard work from the swimmers throughout the entire year: many times going to two-a-day practices, both before and after school.

Throughout the year, the swimmers not only worked in the pool, but also had weight training and yoga once a week for an hour. “My coaches and teammates have helped me stay mentally and physically focused,” said Matt Vanone (‘20). “The main pressure was getting to states, now that you’re there, you feel like a weight has been lifted off of you.”

Towards the second half of the season, the team received visits from successful D1 swimmers who talked about their experiences and a sport psychologist to help them mentally prepare and gain confidence as they went on to compete at meets.

Cate O’Haimhirgin (‘20) has broken the school record, the Gilmour pool record, the sectional record, and the district record for the 100 breaststroke. She not only has worked really hard to achieve her goals but feels the team has really helped her as well. She said, “The girls team has gotten really close this year, we get along super well and we love each other a lot. I feel that we’ve also gotten a lot closer with the boys team. We’ve done a lot of team bonding and group hangouts to create a really tight relationship in the pool and out.”

Head Coach John Fagan is very proud of the team for working very hard. He said, “…it isn’t about just one race. It is their reaction when they have hit a speed bump.”

Peyton Rudman (‘18), stepped up to the plate as the only senior and was a vocal leader during practice according to Fagan, she really loves her team and wants everyone to do their best. When asked about her thoughts regarding states, Rudman said, “It was really awesome to get up and swim one last time with my teammates and I’m sure going to miss it next year.”

Swimming is considered an individual sport, but what goes behind the scenes at practice with the team heavily contributes to one’s performance at a meet. Gilmour Swimming has worked very hard over the last few years and has appeared at states five years in a row.