Last season was a banner year for the CR swimming program. Not only were both the boys and girls teams ranked among the top five in the state throughout the season, but the boys won the Henlopen Conference championship and a fourth place in the DIAA Swimming state championship. Members of both teams found success individually at states.
The teams entered the year with a few question marks about their lineups after graduating 14 seniors. So far, through five meets each, both the boys and girls are undefeated.
“I’ve been most impressed with the resolve of each team,” said CR’s first year head coach Bill Wells. “It would have been easy to rest on last year’s laurels and remain complacent, but they’ve fully bought into our motto, ‘all it takes is all you’ve got.’
“They approach each day as if they still have something to prove, to prove the doubters wrong, which has resulted in a true sense of camaraderie built around a respect for hard work in achieving our collective and individual goals,” he said. “They understand that swimming is a team sport and have embraced that every lane matters, from our conference champions to our novice swimmers.”
Well-roundedness throughout both lineups was something Wells wanted coming into the year, and it’s paid off big time as the boys are 4-0-1 and the Lady Riders are undefeated at 5-0.
“In any coaching change, there is bound to be changes in training and philosophy,” Wells said. “The most significant change that I wanted to bring to the program was the philosophical belief that each of my swimmers need to be legal in all four strokes.”
The girls have been led by Alex May, Georgia May, Tori May, Danielle Stewart, Katherine Tamesis, Katherine Maurer, Victoria Marelli and Lillian Wagner, all of whom have been an individual or relay winner.
Meanwhile, the boys contributors include Ethan Herring, Ian Steele, Maxwell Sewell, Evan Cheng, Nathan Prystash, Brendan Lewis, Nick Hartmann, Connor Buckson, Gilbert Hoffman, Ben Blaier and Tate Wisniewski.
Wells believes the flexibility of many competitors in different events is paying dividends.
“I think this had definitely given us a competitive edge in certain situations. I have the ability to move my swimmers into different events depending on what is needed at each meet,” Wells said.
At the halfway mark, the Riders have already proven they have teams ready to compete not only for conference titles, but more. On an individual level, Wells sees swimmers improving every meet.
“It’s been impressive to watch the determination and drive of swimmers like Danielle Stewart, Alex May, Georgia May, Tori May, Nick Hartmann and Ethan Herring,” Wells said. “This core group has increased their daily yardage and intensity of their workout programs throughout the year as they work toward dropping time. Not only does this better themselves, but they are important role models for underclassmen who will play an important role for us in the future.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that our hope is to stand at the top of the podium at the end of this year. At our first team meeting, we collectively and proudly set this goal for ourselves because we knew that we had the talent and capability to achieve it.
“If we continue to remain driven and determined at practice and continue to support each other
inside and outside the pool, it’s an absolute possibility. We believe that at least and that’s really
all that matters.”