Harland Kissel, Michael Bratslavsky, and Julian Galletta
The Jamesville-DeWitt Girls Swim team is off the blocks, starting the season with a strong record of 7-1. Though the squad was unable to pull off a win against powerhouse swim program Fayetteville-Manlius, the Red Rams are thrilled with their performance thus far in the season. “We are right where we want to be,” says team captain Caelen Constantino.
The team has already faced two of Section III’s toughest opponents: Liverpool and Fayetteville-Manlius. Though J-D swept six out of the 12 events in the meet against F-M on Sept. 12, the girls were unable to overcome the extraordinary depth of the Hornet roster, and the Red Rams ended up losing by 18 points. Just two days later, the J-D girls went up against another section rival in Liverpool. This time, though, the meet went in favor of J-D, as the squad came out with a close 12 point victory.
J-D’s toughest battle of the season came during their meet against the New Hartford Spartans on Oct. 11. “We’ve always had a long history of rivalry with New Hartford. It’s a meet that I look forward to every year,” says senior captain Lexi Phillips. Throughout the night, the lead went back and forth between the two adversaries, but after a tight final race, the Red Rams edged out the Spartans by a single point.
Even after the loss of a powerful senior class last year, the team is right on track, says Constantino. Juniors Emma Galletta, Sloane Leach, and Sawyer Parker have stepped up and “filled the shoes” of last year’s key swimmers, says Phillips.
Sophomore Amelia Hesler has had a breakout performance this year, nearly beating Baldwinsville’s pool record in the 100 backstroke. Though Hesler has yet to qualify for states in an individual event, she joined Phillips, Galetta, and sophomore Kenzie Moore in achieving the state time in the 200 Free Relay during the Salt City Athletic Conference meet on Oct. 16. “It’s really uncommon for us to qualify for states during the regular season. I’m excited to see what we can do during Sectionals,” says Phillips.
Over 25 swimmers have already made sectionals, and the rest of the team is not far behind. “Almost everybody has a chance at making sectionals, or even states.” says senior captain Rachel Setek. The team hopes to win the section championship as a “strong and powerful unit,” says Constantino.
The team bonds and prepares for meets by warming up and singing the campfire song from “Spongebob Squarepants.” After they all finish, they stand in a circle and focus on their goals for the meet. “Everybody always has great energy and are always prepared to swim their best,” said Constantino.
Be sure to check in with the girls on Nov. 3 for the Section III Championship.