At season's close, swimmers prep for Easterns

Brian Brennan _20 in the IM during a 90-96 loss to EA, December 10, 2019 – photo by Mr. Jim Roese

As the 2019–2020 season nears its end, the swimming and diving team reflects on its improvement since the beginning of the season in November. After starting with a loss to Episcopal Academy, the team won three meets in a row, finishing with a 3–1 Inter-Ac record.

     Sixth Former Jack Deppen attributed this success not only to the team’s stars, but also to the improvement of the team’s “depth guys.”

     “The swim time has grown a lot throughout the year. I think after losing the first meet to EA by only six points, we all walked out with a chip on our shoulders,” Deppen said.

     “Everyone knew the guys like [Sixth Former Brian Brennan] and [Sixth Former Antonio Octaviano] would be great this year, but it’s the depth guys that have really progressed a lot,” Deppen said. “To most of them, swimming isn’t the most important thing. Whether they are just swimming to stay in shape for [water] polo, or they are just doing it to be with the guys on the team, they come in and work super hard every day. They are all seeing the results. They have all seen themselves get faster throughout the year, and it’s all thanks to their hard work and dedication. Without their hard work, we wouldn’t be half the team we are this year.”

     Fords swimming has been one of the best teams on campus in the past couple of years. The team was the Inter-Ac champion in 2016–2017 and 2017–2018, as well as Eastern Prep champions in 2018.

     Despite coming up short in the Inter-Ac, swimmers say that this year has been different. Octaviano was challenged to bring the team closer.

Antonio Octaviano _20 at work in a 90-96 loss to EA, December 10, 2019 – photo by Mr. Jim Roese

     “There is a noticeable difference from my sophomore year and my senior year, this year. Though the 2018 team had so much talent, I can strongly say that this year’s team has been closer than it’s ever been compared to the teams my past three years. It was one of my goals as captain to keep the environment positive and camaraderie within the team as strong as possible,” Octaviano said.

     Although the Inter-Ac season is over, the team is far from done. Every year, select swimmers travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to compete at the Eastern Prep Championships at Franklin and Marshall College. Because Easterns is the biggest meet of the year, the team spends the whole year training for the meet, and the last two weeks are spent resting. The team goes in looking to place somewhere in the top three, ideally finishing first.

      Despite the pressure that comes with Easterns, held February 14-15, the team is confident and excited to see how they can finish the season. Sixth Form Captain Bobby Blewett can see that they are ready to compete.

“We have spent the past couple of months grinding in order to do well at the meet. I am confident that each and every one of us will be happy with our swims at Easterns.”

Captain Bobby Blewett ’20

     “Throughout this season, I have seen a tremendous amount of effort that our team has lacked in years past,” Blewett said. “We have spent the past couple of months grinding in order to do well at the meet. I am confident that each and every one of us will be happy with our swims at Easterns.”