Swim team sees growth and improvement in second season

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Sep. 21, 2011
Senior tri-captain Stephanie Pelikan practices the butterfly before the South Windsor High School girls' swim team's first meet of the season. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Senior tri-captain Stephanie Pelikan practices the butterfly before the South Windsor High School girls' swim team's first meet of the season. Photos by Martha Marteney.

“We had more wins than losses, which was a good first season,” said South Windsor High School girls’ swim team coach Heather Lodge about last year’s start-up team. “It mentally prepared you to win again this year.”

This year’s team grew from 16 to 20 swimmers, plus the addition of two divers. The team still has only a handful of seniors, which means the underclassmen will simply continue to improve and show better results. “It’s exciting to know we can improve with more swimmers and divers,” said Lodge.

The team added another meet to this year’s schedule, and started off with an early relay. Lodge said the earlier start helps the athletes understand the competition right off. The team will have seven home meets at Star Hill in Tolland.

Lodge spoke of several underclassmen who add depth to the team, including freshman Allie Romanowski, sophomore Lauren Branscomb and junior Christine Lenkeit. These swimmers are expected to do well in the individual swims.

Senior tri-captains Stephanie Pelikan and Katherine White are both returning swimmers, with fellow senior Amanda Fox new to the team. The rest of the 22-member team consists of underclassmen.

Of junior tri-captain Michelle Robidoux, Lodge said, “She’s the girl who works really hard. I think she’s going to be a stand-out at the end of the year individually.” Lodge also said it was good to have a third captain, due to the size of this year’s team.

Pelikan and White were captains last year. The three captains agree that their role is to motivate the team and keep the energy level up. “We’re still the same team,” said White, “except we’ve got more people.” She was pleased to already be able to see improvements with the new swimmers at the early relay at Glastonbury. “We’ve been practicing hard,” said White, “so we’re looking to put it to good use.”

Speaking about last year’s record, Pelikan said, “For a first-year team, you don’t really expect that.” She noted that not only do the swimmers know each other better this year, but Lodge also knows the swimmers. “She knows how to work us hard on our strengths and weaknesses,” said Pelikan. “We’re ready to have an awesome season.”

The South Windsor High School girls’ swim team will compete against Farmington on Friday, Sept. 30, beginning at 3:45 p.m., at Star Hill in Tolland. The following Tuesday, Oct. 4, the team has another home meet against Manchester, also beginning at 3:45 p.m. For the complete schedule and standings, visit the website casciac.org.


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