No strangers to success, the Caesar Rodney swim team are into another strong campaign in

the pool.

The boys and girls teams are a combined 17-1 so far. According to head coach Maureen

VanOrman, this squad may turn out to be one of the best ever.

“There’s just something different about this group of swimmers this year,” VanOrman said.

“They have a drive and an eagerness not just to win their meets, but to improve upon their times

and their skill each time they get in the water.”

“They’re one cohesive unit, boys and girls together. When the boys are in the water, the girls

are their biggest cheerleaders, and vice versa. They want success for each other both as

individuals and as a team.”

Heading into Thursday’s matchup against Archmere Academy, the boys are 9-0, led by standouts Francis Tamesis, Evan Cheng, Ethan Herring, Kyle Wentling, Nicholas Hartmann, Thomas Pomatto and Andrew Chen.

VanOrman said the boys team set a goal at the beginning of the season to go undefeated. The

team’s seniors have never been defeated against a conference opponent and they’ve taken the

conference title two of the last three years.

“They wanted to continue this trend,” VanOrman said. “There is also a core group that just

missed the podium at states last year in one of our relays - they didn’t like that at all and have

come into the water this season ready to redeem themselves. As a result, we have a shot at

standing on a podium in multiple events at states.”

The girls have gone 8-1, led by a large group of contributors, like Danielle Stewart, Ana Lucia

Villabona, Katherine Maurer, Georgia May, Alexandra May, Kayla Seacord and Claire Pires.

VanOrman says the girls team finally has the depth that the boys enjoyed over the years.

“What I’m loving about the girls is their willingness to step up in the big moments,” VanOrman

said. “I can look at them in a meet and tell them we need to win this event or finish here, here

and here in order to win and they make it happen. They’ve had some close meets this year that

have come down to the last event and they’ve pulled out the win every time.”

Down the home stretch, every swimmer’s goal is to qualify for the state championships. On the

boys side, nine so far have qualified, while seven Lady Riders have earned spots.

“We have had a lot of kids qualify for states and each one of them has qualified in multiple

events,” VanOrman said. “Where we are with times right now, some of those kids will be going

into states with a top 10 or top five time.

“At this point in the season, for the kids who have already qualified, it’s about cleaning up the

stroke, the starts, the turns, and trying to drop time to qualify in a higher position. Each meet is

about pushing themselves a little further to drop a tenth of a second.”

The Riders have several swimmers close to qualifying. Over the next few weeks, they’ll be

putting in the work, trying to earn spots and join their qualifying teammates.

“For them, each meet is similar to those who have already qualified,” VanOrman said. “They’re

working on fixing the little things and dropping their time so they can inch closer to qualifying.

They can qualify for states up until conferences, so they still have plenty of time to make

improvements and get the time they need.”