“After a few weeks of training, and practice at regular dual meets, I think the whole team really got into the groove,” said Co-Captain Jenny Bond ’17. “We had some hard practices that helped us get faster, and we just kept getting faster throughout the season.”
The captains are the leadership that comes closest to the individual swimmer. Therefore, it is their job to make sure that these practices are productive and helpful, making sure the swimmers are not only doing the work, but also creating a high-energy environment to simulate a real event.
“I try and keep the spirits up,” said Co-Captain Julia Mullarkey ’17. “I always try to keep everyone happy but on task as well. I don’t have any fear of yelling at people. We really take the lead, correct people, make sure they’re on task, and swimming all their laps.”
Not only does practice contribute to the performance of the team, but in order to incorporate the new underclassmen that joined, the captains and the team as a whole aimed to create an environment that would foster the positive growth of the newcomers.
“Before our races, we go up and say ‘good luck’ and we say ‘good job’ after. We always cheer each other on at the end of the pool, and congratulate each other when we have good races. It helps to have a more positive atmosphere when everyone is so close together, and it makes the meets more enjoyable,” Bond said.
It was this team environment and relentless practice that helped the team achieve fifth at the Mercer County Tournament. Head Coach Carly Misiewicz believes that by the day of the tournament, the team was able to iron out the difficulties of having such young swimmers.
“We found out where people belong,” Misiewicz said. “We have a very young team, so we were trying to figure out where do they belong, where do they fit; what’s their best event. I think we really figured it out as team, and so taking that into counties, that allowed us to place the way we did.”
The underclassmen seemed to have an impressive showing at the tournament as well.
“Cameron Davis [’20] is a really good asset to our team,” Mullarkey said. “We’re so impressed by what she’s done. She’s the girl who got first in the B heat of finals at counties, but would have gotten third in the A heat. Another freshman, Margaret Hill [’20], went to preliminaries swimming the 50-[meter] free in the fifth heat. She pulled out an amazing time, everyone was so surprised, and actually made it to finals as a freshman.”
But, the season had to come to an early close, as the eighth-seeded girls fell at sectionals in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament to fourth-seeded Summit High School.
“We did really well, and the meet was a lot closer than we thought it would be,” Bond said. “At one point, we were only two points down, and so everyone was swimming their best.”
As the season ended, so did the swimming careers of the five senior captains at Princeton High School.
“I think everyone is disappointed the season is over quickly compared to last year, but we had a really good last meet and everyone enjoyed the season,” Bond said. “It was kind of bittersweet, but it was a good way to end… and I am really proud of our whole team in general.”