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BHS Swim and Dive ‘23 Season

By: Chaivin Moon

If you had been to the school in the last few months, you would have noticed a group of students dressed up in funky outfits. Even though at first you might be wondering what they're doing, now you know that they are the swim team decked out in exceptional spirit. Gretchen Christensen, one of the captains, even went on to say, "We win hands down for most spirited team." Other than spirit days, the BHS swim team also carries a lot of other traditions that you could have witnessed around town. Houses that were TPed or any cars driving around with amazing drawings of someone swimming are all part of the fun traditions that the swim team has for each other. The swim team's senior captains, Gretchen Christensen, Mia Murphy, and Mia Taylor, as well as the coaches successfully led the BHS Swim and Dive team to an undefeated season in the Middlesex League.

Even though members join to swim/dive, they are greeted with more than a team. Many swimmers have pointed out that swimming, spirit days, team dinners, and other fun traditions create a bond that's like family. Mia Murphy acknowledged it, expressing how much she appreciates the swim team's welcoming environment. “When I first joined, I was a nervous freshman but immediately felt welcomed by all the older swimmers whom I idolized. It is truly such a family and all the fun traditions we have made it such an amazing team to be a part of." Another senior, Gretchen Christensen, talked about how everyone is always cheering for each other saying, “Meets are always SO LOUD because we are cheering everyone on and when someone does well, everyone congratulates them, even if they didn’t have a good race or meet. We have some really hard practices, and we get each other through them with cheers and lots of “We got this.” Without the support of teammates, the team would fall apart, and I think that really shows how strong our bond is as a team because we are so connected.”

When Mia Taylor was asked about her favorite thing about the swim team, she replied, “The people; the energy and vibes and support and love we all have for each other.” Abby Hill had a similar response, saying, “I would probably say the team spirit and environment”. Swimming has a lot to do with your ability mindset, as I and other swimmers have learned through our years of practice. As a swimmer for the BHS Swim and Dive, it’s really clear how each swimmer/diver supports one another and how much the coaches trust each of us. If it hadn’t been for some amazing cheering, I don’t know how I could have gotten through some of my toughest races, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Seeing your teammates cheer for you at the end of the lane during or before your race motivates you to achieve your best. Likewise, cheering for others and seeing them win races makes you equally as glad.

During meets, swimmers across the deck had the opportunity to swim new events and support one another. The support/cheering as well as every swimmer's resilience to train difficult sets (carefully thought out by the coaches) led to some amazing races this season. Hard sets were given to swimmers after a long day of school, or bright and early in the morning on Saturdays, yet everyone was able to swim through the tough practices and get better times in races. These races and practices lead Belmont Swimmers to triumph over Reading and Winchester in addition to their previous difficult rivals, including Lexington High School, one of their fiercest competition. Even though the other teams had incredibly strong swimmers, Belmont also had strong swimmers and a stronger spirit. The combination of these helped Belmont place higher than Wakefield, Arlington, and other teams placing them 2nd overall in the Middlesex League.

Sectionals and States was an exciting time for those who qualified. Despite placing 6th the previous year, the team’s strong training brought them a 3rd place win overall at Sectionals. The successful spirit carried to the States. With everyone cheering each other on through more spirit days and practices, they placed 4th place overall at States.

The Swim and Dive team wouldn’t be the same without their divers, Robyn Tonomura-MacDonald (junior), Kira Davidson (senior), and Brynn Grimshaw (freshman). All three divers worked incredibly hard to achieve new dives. Both Robyn and Kira qualified for Sectionals and States and helped the team score points to win. Kira finished her senior year strong by placing 4th at Sectionals and 8th at States and managed to master new dives. Robyn, who previously placed 3rd at States and Sectionals last year, stepped up her game and placed 1st at Sectionals and States in 1m diving. In addition to being top divers, Robyn and Kira qualified for All-American Diving, putting them as one of the potential top divers in America.

The spirit that the BHS Swim and Dive carries is unmatchable. The support that everyone carries for each other and their hard work led the team to one of the more successful seasons this year, placing 2nd at Leagues, 3rd at Sectionals, and 4th at States.

Image courtesy of Chaivin Moon.


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