GVS swims to success


Leah Marquardt and Story Sossen

The Horace Mann Boys and Girls Varsity Swim (BVS and GVS) teams swam to victory against Riverdale in an intense meet this past Wednesday. 

“It was a tight meet, so we worked our hardest through the last race,” GVS team captain Catherine Mignone (12) said. The boys swim team beat Riverdale by 6 points, with the final score 88-82, GVS member Isha Krishnamurthy (11) said. While the girls competition score was not released, GVS beat Riverdale by a significant margin, GVS member JoJo Mignone (10) said. Overall, both teams placed highly in all swimming events, GVS member Karla Moreira (9) said. 

Individual swimmers also performed well, like JoJo, who set a personal record in the 200 free, 500 free, 200 free relay, and the 400 free relay. In addition, BVS member Dylan Montbach (9) swam the 100 fly in one minute and ten seconds, a personal best for the butterfly stroke. 

Every member of the team felt confident and ready to compete in their respective events because of their preparation, Catherine said. Swimmers focused on specific techniques such as diving and turns, GVS coach Thatcher Woodley said.

Members of the swim team have developed individualized routines to prepare for meets, X said. For example, Catherine has a set routine of stretching the night before and getting a restful night of sleep.

The Swim team also focuses on creating a positive, inclusive experience for everyone on the team, Woodley said. Members of the team uplifted each other by cheering during warmups which got people excited for the meets, BVS member Vincent Li (12) said. For example, the team follows traditions such as team spirit, where all members of the team dress up following certain themes, Catherine said.

On Wednesday, the team’s spirit was blackout, where every member of the swim team dressed in all-black, GVS member Irene Argenti (12). On Friday, both teams agreed to do a “formal Friday” theme, Argenti said.

Moreira said that a highlight of the meet was the team cheering each other on. “Everyone was really cheering each other on and was really supportive the entire meet. That was really visible, and just creating that energy is super nice,” Krishnamurthy said.

There have been fewer meets than usual due to the pandemic, so the meet helped team members set goals for the rest of the season, Woodley said. Fortunately, students and coaches agreed that COVID did not affect the actual swim race. While there are still protocols set in place to ensure the safety of athletes, athletes are allowed to take off their masks while standing socially distanced behind the starting blocks, similarly to how meets operated pre-COVID, Woodley said.

Krishnamurthy said that being able to travel to other schools is a nice change since the pandemic started. Similarly, Li felt that the energy of the meets stayed the same as pre-pandemic. 

Swim meets are both an opportunity to improve swim times and skills and to make new friends, Li said. Catherine hopes to work on her 200 and 400 freestyle times by working on specific parts of each race in practice using the technique of intervals, while Li said that he doesn’t have any particular goals for timing except to swim faster and mainly enjoys hanging out with his friends while staying fit.