Strong group leads girls swimming to make a run in the playoffs

Gordon Redfield-Gale, Staff Writer

Powered by tremendous team spirit, the girls swim team is looking to capitalize on an impressive season to produce a strong performance at sectionals and state.

The team came into the year with lofty expectations after sending a large number of swimmers to state last year, and they have lived up to their billing by winning the Lake Forest Relays for the first time in school history and nearly all of their dual meets.

“I think that the girls have performed very well. They are building off of what they accomplished last season,” senior captain Lane Raedle said. “I’m expecting a large state team, and I think that we are going to have a lot more individual qualifiers than we did last year.”

This success does not come without an exceptional work ethic and healthy competition between teammates.

“They are very competitive with one another and understand that this competition only makes them better,” head coach Kevin Auger said. “Everyday they strive to improve together.”

The girls on the team developed more than a competitive edge over the many hours they spent practicing together.

“We spend so much time together and even though it is not a classic team sport, it is very much a mental team sport, and we all get very close,” junior Caroline Chapon explained. “We all know each other very well and are all best friends.”

This team-first mentality is evident at every single meet this group attends, where the girls cheer on their teammates with robust enthusiasm, the end of each lane occupied by a screaming Wildkit. The camaraderie that this team possesses is in part due to the lengthy time spent together in the pool. Additionally, it is also due to the leadership of the captains and the other experienced members of the team who realize the value in team chemistry.

“The leadership grows every year. We have an outstanding group of juniors, and a great group of senior captains,” Auger said. “It’s their job to explain to the younger kids what’s going on. They’ve done more than meet this expectation.”

Chapon, in her third year on the team, and Raedle, in her fourth, have both played a crucial part in the development and integration of the underclassmen and other swimmers new to the varsity level. The team has a specific day for team bonding, championship dinners, a freshman breakfast, homecoming dinners, gift exchanges and a junior/senior BBQ among other events. 

With the end of the season nearing, the team hopes to finish off strong and send a large portion of the team to state competition. Come watch the Kits start their road to state at the CSL invite tomorrow at 1 in the afternoon at Glenbrook North.