by Danielle Wirtshafter
Coming into the meet with confidence in their 6-0 record, the girls swim team dominated Oak Knoll, 117-52, at the Westfield YMCA on Jan. 5.
According to senior Tri-Captain Loren Ball, Oak Knoll’s team consists only of 15 members, compared to WHS’ 34 swimmers, which gave WHS an advantage. Ball said, "[Although] some meets are easier to win than others.... We are always trying to prove that we are the number one team in New Jersey."
Early on, junior Ellie Reinhardt, senior Meghan Myers, sophomore Caroline Baldwin and freshman Amy West came in first in the 200 medley relay at a time of 2:02:42. Baldwin said, "It is our goal as a team to always try to do the best that we can, and we’re at our best when we are all supportive of each other."
Later in the meet, WHS swept the 100 fly. Sophomore Allie McBrearty came in first place with a time of 1:06:47, followed by Myers in second at time 1:09:18 and freshman Caitlyn Collins in third with a time of 1:13:93.
Senior Tri-Captain Jessica Cronin said: "When racing other teams our strategy is to make every race count. That means trying hard and swimming fast no matter who the meet is against." According to Cronin, these less challenging meets allow the team to experiment with the line-up, which is in the process of being finalized for counties.
Assistant Coach Ms. Corinne Kelly said: "Every time the girls enter the pool, they try to swim their best, no matter whom it is against. [Our] strategies include explosive starts off the blocks and effective flip turns. Small changes to their starts and turns can sometimes make the difference in a meet."
With counties right around the corner, the team is working excessively to perfect turns and starts, according to Cronin. Ball said: "Right now our team is training really hard.... We are really trying to stay focused at practice."
Head Coach Mr. Jeffrey Knight said: "We do our homework on each team. We swim and know who they have and where they tend to put them. When you have a good idea of what their lineup will look like, you have an advantage."
The next meet is on Jan. 17 against Mount Saint Mary’s Academy at the Westfield YMCA, which, according to Ball, is one of the team’s biggest meets of the season. Ball said, "They have always been our rivals so we want to blow them out of the water."