Dan Wims

Freshman Andrew Chiocca swims the butterfly at the Bedford meet.

Another Strong Start for WHS Swim Team

Dan Wims
Juniors Katheryn Milligan and Leonie Showtka pose for a picture mid meet

The WHS swim program has been a powerhouse in the DCL and a perennial competitor in the State Tournament. Overcoming the loss of last years’ seniors has been no easy feat for the girls’ and boys’ Red Tide. Nonetheless, both teams have started yet another season strong, winning nine of their first ten meets.

Head coach of 12 years and middle school math teacher Claude Valle has been more than satisfied with the hard work and determination each team has shown throughout the season.

“Both teams this year have been really focused and hardworking. They are really good communicators about little things. They are very committed to the sport and I have seen that they are developing an aggressive meet day attitude,” Valle stated.

Senior co-captain Jackson Rodgers has seen exceptional depth from the boys’ team thus far.

“In the first few meets, the depth of the team [has been] outstanding and something I haven’t seen in my four years on the team so far. [The team has a] great flexibility in lineups and the potential for extremely competitive meets with much larger schools,” Rogers noted.

Additionally, senior co-captain Ian Ward has been impressed with certain aspects of the boys’ team.

I have seen a lot of camaraderie and teamwork to get over challenges. In the past few meets, we have seen a lot of cheering and team spirit especially during race(s), as well as excellent sportsmanship,” Ward said.

Senior co-captain Remy Larocque recognized the impact of the younger swimmers on this year’s girls’ team.

“The underclassmen have played a major role in our team’s success…They really stepped up to replace the [seniors] we lost,” Larocque said. “They have certainly brought a lot of talent to the team, as well as being a group of kind, fun individuals — what the Red Tide is [all] about.”

Even with the early success, Rogers acknowledged areas that need improvement.

“The only thing that could be improved upon is the finesse aspects: snappy and consistent turns, quick starts and hard finishes,” Rogers said. “[This] often comes later in the season when we ease off yardage in exchange for sprint sets and technical development.”

Rogers thought that this development could pay major dividends for the Red Tide.

I have a great feeling about this team. [They’re] persistent, hardworking, and dynamic. Definitely fast enough to cause a few upsets in the DCL if we put our minds to it and continue training with the same vigor [demonstrated in the] past few weeks,” Rogers said.

As an experienced head coach, Valle knows that constant hard work will lead the team to success, regardless of their record.  

“It’s never a goal of winning. Winning is just the result of hard work. At the beginning, [the teams] were wondering, with all the lost talent, how it was going to all work out, but all you can do is just start,” Valle said. “Faith plays a huge role with them, saying that if I work hard it will pay off.”

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