Swim Team makes splash this year with increased numbers!
Most students at RHS remember the team known as the Rockover swim team,a combination of Hanover and Rockland swimmers. However, over the years, the RHS portion of the swim team had slowly diminished to almost nothing after being forced by the MIAA, the state’s athletic governing body, to disconnect with Hanover. Fortunately, a woman by the name of Julie Margolis who is passionate about the sport of swimming has revived it these past two years.
Mrs. Margolis, mother of Sarah and Lilly Margolis, has taught swimming and coached at the YMCA for the past ten years. She explained that since she had been a volunteer with the Hanover Rockland team with coach Barb Toohey, when the MIAA forced them to split in 2010 she took over the Rockland team. They did not compete in 2010 and last year only had 9 members. But this year The team has twenty eight dedicated members, including four males. The team practices four nights a week Monday through Thursdays at the YMCA in Hanover.
The swim team is composed of juniors, sophomores and freshmen. The captains are all juniors: Molly Garrity, Devin Gilmore, and Lilly Margolis who were selected by their teammates last year. The swim team is a co-ed team with four male swimmers. Gaining a lot of new members this season, the team is practicing hard to try and bring tough competition to each meet.
Molly explained her reason for joining the swim team. “Honestly, I chose swimming because I quit basketball and still wanted to participate in a sport,” she said. I’m glad I did though.” This is true for many athletes participating in swimming this year. Many also swim to stay in shape. Most people have come to love the sport after spontaneously joining the team. Many have never competitively swum before and just thought it would be fun.
Although the swim team is a fun group to be a part of it is still a very challenging sport. Having to learn all of the styles and strokes can be very daunting for those who have never swum on a team or taken lessons before. Swimming is a very exhausting sport which requires a great deal of energy. This sport requires its athletes to be in top condition.
According to Coach Margolis the team is making great progress. “All the swimmers are doing super and can swim freestyle and backstroke already. They’ve also learned how to do flip turns in the first week of practice,” she said.
When asked about how they went about recruiting this year Mrs. Margolis said “Recruiting has been ongoing for the last three years by word of mouth, informational meetings, 8th grade orientation, and by having a bring your friend during our last week of practice last season.”
The team is expected to provide pretty tough competition this year, especially now that they have swimmers to fill every race at the meets. Molly Garrity said, “The team should be pretty good this season! Last year we had trouble because we’d lose points for not having people to fill all of the races, but now with 28 swimmers we can fill all of the slots so we should have a much better chance.”
The team is going to be competing against Patriot League teams as well as some out of league teams.