Swim team splashes into new season


Mitch Hopkins

Senior Julia Dukes comes up for breath while performing the butterfly stroke during swim practice. According to her teammates, Dukes is one of the teams’ strongest swimmers and led the women’s team last season.

Sophomore Amelia Bothwell looks down at the waves of water beneath her and scans her opponents, looking for the real competition. Not an ounce of uneasiness can be found in her body. Bothwell has been preparing for moments like this since she was three years old.

Bothwell is one of the newest additions to the women’s swim team. The swim season for both men and women started on Nov. 14. According to the returning senior swimmers, new swimmers have already brought a variety of talent to the season.

“Key people to look for this year are [senior] Julia Dukes, sophomore Amelia Bothwell and [sophomore] Carly Cobo. Cobo is going to be a good swimmer among the new swimmers,” senior swimmer Holly Driver said.

Because there is no JV swim team, all swimmers are on the varsity team. For championships, women compete in the A conference, while men compete in the B conference. Last year, the swimming record for the women’s team was 0-4, and the record for the men’s team was 3-6.

Returning for her last season is senior Julia Dukes, whose name was mentioned as someone who is bound to be successful this season. “I did okay last year and I’ve been swimming for awhile. Last year, we did pretty well. We competed in the A conference which is hard to compete against people who’ve been swimming for a while,” Dukes said.

“This year it’s been really good and I would say [the team] is more hard working. I would say it progressively gets better every year,” senior Adam Mrowiec said. Mrowiec has been swimming since his sophomore year and has been named Driver as a key swimmer in this upcoming season.

Driver also named Senior Rob Flynn as a key swimmer who is returning to the block for his final season. “[Swimming] helps you stay in shape, I’ve been doing crossfit to help me train for swimming,” Flynn said.

All of Flynn’s training will hopefully pay off for the men’s team. “The Patriots enter the 2015-16 with the strongest boys team in years,” head coach Larry Dukes said.

“[The women’s team] is hoping to continue to move up in the ranks of the toughest swimming conference in the state,” Larry Dukes said.

Compared to other popular sports, like football or soccer, the swim team hardly receives recognition and support from fellow students. “No one from school comes to see us because the meets start right after school and it’s hard to get there,” sophomore Maddie Fraji said. According to Fraji, the lack of support for the team is due to the distance of the meets. JC doesn’t have a pool or own a facility with a pool that students can have easy access to.

Junior Olivia Barnhart doesn’t think much of the lack of support from students. “You can’t really have fans and most people don’t think it’s a sport,” Barnhart said.

Julia Dukes doesn’t mind the lack of support. Instead she finds support from her fellow teammates. According to Dukes, it is up to the team members to support each other because of the large size of the team. “It’s understandable we don’t have many fans but that’s not how the sport goes. We are a big team, so we support each other,” Dukes said.

Azanae Barrow is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.