Windham/RHAM/Coventry swim/dive team kicks off the season
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Thu., Dec. 20, 2012
This year, Windham and RHAM are joined by students from Coventry to make up the Windham/RHAM/Coventry swim/dive team. At their first meet of the season, against E.O. Smith High School, on Dec. 18, the team performed well, but not well enough to secure a victory.
With a final score of 99-85, the athletes fell short of bringing home the first team win of the season. But there were strong performances by individuals, including Windham diver Jeremy Cruz, who finished in the top position among the divers with a score of 175 and has already secured himself a position in the state competition.
Cruz is a junior, diving for his third year. He said he qualified for states as both a freshman and a sophomore, and he is hoping for another strong performance for 2012-13. Cruz singled out Cameron Ennis, a Coventry sophomore, as another strong diver for the team. Cruz expected Ennis to qualify for the state competition, as well. “He’s doing really well,” said Cruz. “He did well last year also, so I don’t see why not.”
Ennis didn’t score high enough to qualify on Dec. 18, but head coach Greg Sykes was still confident. “Not today, but probably pretty soon,” said Sykes. Also diving for the team against E.O. Smith was Zoe Mitchell, a RHAM junior who is new to the team this year.
Among the swimmers, Cruz singled out Zach Hannon, a senior from RHAM. “He’s been leading our team for four years,” said Cruz. Cruz felt that Hannon had a good chance of beating a Windham record that has stood since 1997 - 22.02 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle, set by Keith Mendez.
Sykes confirmed that Hannon might be going after several records this year, including the 50-meter freestyle. “He has a pretty good chance of beating that record,” said Sykes.
Other strong swimmers for the team include Casey Dieter-Leeds and Alex Grose, Windham seniors and co-captains of the team. Greg Husta, Stephan Lambert and Ryan Kirkpatrick are also very strong swimmers. With strong swimmers in the top-level positions, the team’s overall season will depend upon lower-level swimmers also performing well. “Overall, it’s going to be a question of depth this year,” said assistant coach Mike Lessard.
Sykes said it was still too early in the season to predict how the team would place among the field. “I saw some good performances today,” he said. Sykes felt that his athletes, many of whom have access to pool time only during the season, competed well against E.O. Smith. Last year, a good portion of the team was laid low due to illness near the end of the season. If athletes can stay healthy, Sykes feels the team can equal last year’s record of 10-3. “Better would be nice,” he added with a grin.