Katie Cappelletti and Tracey Edson
The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Swim team is still on track to win another Section III title, even after a big loss to Faytteville-Manlius on Oct. 17, making their record 6-1. Although the defeat ended their hope for an undefeated season, the Red Rams are hoping to bounce back from their defeat.
They are looking for another sectional title this year after winning it for the past four years. “There is only one spot left on the sectional trophy and it would be great if it was J-D,” said freshman Amelia Hesler, who has been on the team for two years. “Hopefully we will win sectionals for the fifth time and win one or two relays for states,” said junior Lexi Phillips, who was also Nice ‘n Easy’s Athlete of the Week of Sept. 21.
However, this might be a hard goal to reach because they lost so many seniors from last year’s team. Senior co-captain Marissia Potamianos set a Section III record last year for the medley relay with three of the former seniors. However, “the underclassmen are stepping up and filling the relay spots and we have already placed two top scores in the section,” said Potamianos.
The seniors this year have made an effort to help the younger swimmers improve. “If they see a stroke that needs work, they notice it and they work really hard in practice,” said sophomore Grace McGuire. “We partner up a lot and have an older swimmer with a younger swimmer and we have a specific thing to work on,” said senior co-captain Kate Salvo. “The older person will watch the younger person and kind of give them advice.”
In addition to the seniors’ efforts, Coach Bob Bewley drives them constantly for two hours every day at practice. “The practices are pretty hard, he likes to push us, but we get better from it,” said sophomore Aleksandra Patalita.
When J-DHS faced Christian Brothers Academy there was a lot of energy around. The Red Rams won this meet by two points, 94-92. “The CBA meet was “very stressful,” said sophomore Sawyer Parker; “it was our closest meet in a long time.”
The Red Rams are preparing for their meet against Skaneateles on Oct. 20. The Lakers are 6-3 and have faced some of the same competition. Skaneateles lost to CBA 95-86, while the Red Rams beat CBA by a small point differential. “It will be a good meet because both of us competed in close meets against CBA,” said senior co-captain Olivia Byrnes.
Sectionals are Nov. 5 and 6. Many of the senior swimmers have qualified for events in sectionals this year. Co-captains Salvo, Potamianos, and Byrnes have all qualified for the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. In addition, Potamianos has qualified for the 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Byrnes has qualified for the 100 backstroke as well. After sectionals many of these swimmers are hoping to make it to states on Nov. 12 and 13.