Olympus swim team is deeper, stronger and more mature team
Nov 29, 2016 04:21PM
● By Kelly Cannon
After years of building, the Olympus High swim team is set to compete. (Olympus High School)
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
The Olympus High School swim team is ready to show they are a competitive force during this year’s swim season. The 60-member team, evenly divided between girls and boys, started practice on Oct. 3 and held their first meet on Nov. 5. Last year, both the girls and the boys teams finished seventh at the state competition. Coach Thomas Thorum believes the teams are poised for better seasons.
“It’s a deeper, stronger and more mature team,” Thorum said. “We’re going to be pretty good across the board in all the events.”
Thorum said the team is prepping for the season by doing what they always do — focusing on technique and skill acquisition, as well as being smart swimmers.
“We’re just trying to make sure everyone knows how to swim properly,” Thorum said.
Last year, the Olympus High swim team lost two contributing swimmers from each team after they graduated. However, Olympus High School is also home to Olympus Aquatics.
“Olympus Aquatics is an age group program from ages five to 18 with a strong emphasis on lessons. That program now has 166 kids,” Thorum said. “They’re the best kids in the state. It’s a top program in the state. It’s beginning to contribute swimmers to our high school team.”
According to Thorum, the main competitors for the team this year will be West High School and Skyline High School.
“For the girls, a meet with West (High School) is a big deal. Our girls haven’t beat their girls since I’ve been coaching here. They’re 5A,” Thorum said. “Our big meet for the boys is Skyline at the end of the year. Skyline is a perennial powerhouse and that will be a good opportunity for these guys to shine.”
Seventeen-year-old Isabella White has been swimming competitively for the past six years and is a captain of the Olympus girls team. White swims the 200 meter individual medley, the 100 meter butterfly and the 100 meter breaststroke. White said this year the goal for the team is for everybody to do their best.
“I think it would be for everybody to do their best, to have a good supportive team at meets,” White said. “It’s not about winning for us. It’s more about trying our best, being positive towards each other.”
White said she feels they are a more competitive team because they have faster swimmers this year and other teams have lost fast seniors.
“We’re getting better as we go. Last year, we went from 11th to seventh,” White said. “This year, I think we’re going to do a lot better.”
Eighteen-year-old senior Jake Ference is the captain of the boys team and swims both the 50 meter freestlye and the 100 meter freestyle. Ference says the team has grown so much in the years he’s been there.
“When I started for the Olympus swim team four years ago, it was nothing. It was me and 20 other kids,” Ference said. “Now to see our team, our numbers have completely taken off. The skill has completely taken off. We have the best chance of placing really well at state this year. Our biggest strength is numbers now.”
Ference said the goal for the boys team is to do as well as they can at state and take on Skyline High School.
“Get as many guys there, even if it’s just in relays and stuff. Just get the biggest team we’ve had in a while. That’d be awesome,” Ference said. “Skyline has been this dominating force for years. They’re a team to look at to beat. Our guys could beat Skyline, which I think is totally possible.”