Girls swimming maintains a culture of closeness

Elizabeth Letkiewicz, Staff Reporter

It’s Thursday, Sept. 20, and the Elk Grove High School girls swimming team is preparing for a meet against Prospect High School. While running through drills, the team’s movements and flow looked flawless and in-sync with every stroke.

There’s an element of closeness to the girls team. You could tell this was the case during the meet that day, as the girls cheered and encouraged their teammates to compete.

“Yes, we have group hangouts and team bonding,” freshman swimmer Yoanna Savova said in a text message. “We have a group chat, so we all communicate with each other. Everyone knows each other.”

That bond the team possesses has boosted its performance. EGHS girls swimmers are off to a strong start this 2018 season. On Sept. 15, the EGHS swim team took second place in a Hoffman Estates High School invitational. To Grenadiers head coach Dave Toler, the girls have bought into the program.

“I was surprised,”Toler said.“The girls have been doing everything I ask and they’re improving very well. It’s been a good start to the season.”

Many underclassmen swim on the varsity team. Of the 11 swimmers at the HEHS invitational, eight of them were freshman.

During the meet against Prospect, the Knights had the advantage over Elk Grove at first. Then, the Grens obtained the lead through after a few events.

That fight Toler’s swimmers show is evident in how the Grens approach their team bonding. On the girls swimming site, Toler stresses swimmers to be on time and be at every practice and event.

Toler emphasized building a swimming culture through that hard work and dedication to the program.

Recently, on Oct. 1, Elk Grove had a meet against Maine West High School. Toler said the timing of the meet made it difficult, thanks to homecoming weekend, meets during the prior week and a few swimmers out with injuries. Although varsity Grenadier swimmers lost 98-82, the junior varsity squad won 97-65. The JV team was led by Kaylee Hatfield, Sarah McNamara and Anna Mayschak. Rachel Ford, Abby Murphy and Natalia Garcia stepped up in challenging events.

“The next few weeks will be hard practices, preparing for season ending meets,” Toler said. “This team has shown no sign of backing off.”