Into the deep blue

"Despite the unusually large exodus of last year's seniors, the Bainbridge women's swim team isn't worried at all.This year's team is easily as good as last year's, said coach Greg Colby, and quite possibly even better.The team lost twelve seniors - a formidable number in the annual egress from high school swimming - though only one was a state swimmer, leaving five returning state veterans.We lost a lot of people, but we also have fast swimmers coming back, said team captain Allison Stover.Calling this year's team deep, Colby mentioned the loss of last year's leadership, but looked forward to watching returners and transfers perform. "

  • Wednesday, September 6, 2000 1:00pm
  • Sports

“Despite the unusually large exodus of last year’s seniors, the Bainbridge women’s swim team isn’t worried at all.This year’s team is easily as good as last year’s, said coach Greg Colby, and quite possibly even better.The team lost twelve seniors – a formidable number in the annual egress from high school swimming – though only one was a state swimmer, leaving five returning state veterans.We lost a lot of people, but we also have fast swimmers coming back, said team captain Allison Stover.Calling this year’s team deep, Colby mentioned the loss of last year’s leadership, but looked forward to watching returners and transfers perform.There’s Leslie Wukstich, she’s extremely experienced and a three-time state scorer, Jaron and Jenna Santhelli, I mean, I could start naming all kinds of names, Colby said.The depth and skill level of this team is incredible – I’ll be leaving some kids home from the district tournaments who could score because of the strength we have, he said.The swim meet schedule changed this year, Colby said. The league has gone from two meets a week to one meet a week, and coaches have more opportunity to choose their competitors rather than swim on an obligatory, round-robin schedule.This makes life easier for everybody, he said.Time management, he said, was one of the most critical elements of high school sports in general.This is an intense time for these girls, he said. They need time to train, time to keep their grades up, and still be high school girls.Stover put high school athletics in perspective. I’m not a state-level swimmer, she said. Competing isn’t even my favorite part. But I really like keeping in shape.* * * * *If you hear someone shouting at the top of their lungs in the Ray Williamson Pool, don’t be alarmed. It’s just diving practice.We do all kinds of exercises for self-confidence, like shouting from one to ten said Chris Miller, coach for Bainbridge High School’s four-member women’s diving team. Self-confidence is the most important quality a successful diver has.Anyone can throw a front somersault from the board, said Miller. Even on their first try, it’s just a matter of confidence.Typically, the one who doesn’t make it is the one who chickened out at the last minute, he said.Diving is, in some ways, the most unforgiving sport. The midair three-dimensionality of the performance, without anything to ground the body, intimidates many would-be divers.Nobody does it because it’s so hard, Miller said. Everything happens in mid-air, there’s nothing to touch, and it’s totally independent.Unlike gymnastics, where a little slip is correctable, errant divers hit the water without a chance to re-balance. The water’s not forgiving, the air’s not forgiving, and there’s no way to recover if you blow it, Miller said.Jasmine DuPont, a junior who’s been diving for five years, agrees. It’s a real challenge – if you don’t have the body for it, and if you don’t have the mind for it, you’re probably not going to go very far, she said.Jasmine, who also swims breast stroke and freestyle with the swim team, said the grace and challenge make diving more than a sport – they make it an art.It’s hard to be so graceful, she said.With one rookie and three returners who haven’t yet been to a state tournament, this year’s team is young. In diving terms, it’s what we call a building year, said Miller. But I have high expectations. I’m really interested to see how things will turn out. “

More in Sports

Spartan of the Week | Carter Hall

This week’s Spartan of the Week is Carter Hall of the Bainbridge… Continue reading

BHS boys 8th at State in XC, Belkin sprints to historic repeat second

For the second straight year Bainbridge High School senior Sebastian Belkin took… Continue reading

Island rowers stage stellar show at Boston regatta

Island rowers stage stellar show A Bainbridge Island Rowing Master’s boat competed… Continue reading

Freshman leads state-bound Spartan swimmers

The Bainbridge Spartans girls swimming & diving team is heading to state… Continue reading

Spartans excel at Metro swim meet

The Bainbridge Spartans girls swimming & diving team had a large number… Continue reading

Three Spartans named to Metro girls All-League team

Even after returning home triumphantly with the their most recent Metro League… Continue reading

HNA sours team’s final home match

The Cougars put the kibosh on any potential smiley Senior Night for… Continue reading

BHS boys claim water polo win over Bellevue

The Bainbridge High School varsity boys water polo team scored a 16-9… Continue reading

Tough finish for Spartan volleyball

The Bainbridge Spartans fell in three straight sets in girls varsity volleyball… Continue reading

Spartan of the Week | Bainbridge girls varsity golf team

This week’s Spartan of the Week is the Bainbridge High varsity girls… Continue reading

Bainbridge falls short against Garfield footballers

The Bainbridge High School varsity football team (5-4) suffered through a 59-32… Continue reading

Spartans XC stars take second at Districts, set sights on State

The Bainbridge High School cross country team has never made it to… Continue reading