Elaina Craig: Swimming Account

Whenever people ask me why I swim, it’s hard to find an answer for them. I’ve been swimming for so long it is almost like asking the reason I breathe or why I go to school. School and swim are the two biggest factors in my life, which is why I could not wait to join the swim team when I got to high school.

 For a few years, VCHS had not had a swim team. But, if football could return — a team that needs at least a dozen players — then an individual sport seemed it should be easy to add. When former Athletic Director Mr. Gomez held an interest meeting last year, there were enough people to return our Falcon symbol to the pool depths. Grace Erkeneff, a coach with the local competitive swim team, with a parent to assist, were more than happy to coach.

 The 2018-2019 team started small, with six girls and two boys. It grew with the addition of an additional boy during the season. The team members had varying levels of swim experience, from current competitive swimmers to some experience in the water and everything in between. Coach Grace was happy to work with all levels, having coached a wide array of ages and experiences in the past.

 The swim season is relatively short from dead period ending in early February to Sections scheduled at the beginning of May. But, there was still time for much growth, individually as swimmers and collectively in the team. Some athletes with no prior experience were swimming 100-yard events, some brave souls swim 500s (20 laps!) and all the races in between. By the time championships came around, the girl’s relay team was strong enough to win the 400-yard  freestyle relay, the longest relay race. That entire relay team earned All-League honors!  We even had one freshman girl swim the 500 yard freestyle event at sections – coming within three seconds of the league record!

Last year was great for the first year of having the sport after a break of a few years , but I imagine better things to come. Good numbers of boys and girls showed up for the information meetings, enough for adding a boys relay team. This will be instrumental for their scoring in the league. The girls team has a bright future, with five returning members and new freshmen to carry the team into the future. Hopefully, we will see more faces at practice and good races throughout the entire season this year.