After two long seasons of a dry spell, Bethel High School’s Co-Ed Swim Team finally ended their drought and won a swim meet. Last Monday, February 14, Bethel faced Danbury at their ‘home’ pool at Western Connecticut State University, winning 107- 49. Upon the much-needed win, the entire team, along with the fully clothed coaches, jumped into the pool in celebration. “The win represents start of a change for the swim team,” states Coach McGowan.
McGowan admits, “Going into it, I knew it was going to be a close meet.” However, a series of small victories helped the overall win: Sarah Whalen dropped four seconds in the 200 IM (3rd) and eleven seconds in the 500 free (1st). Kevin Gallahger, Patrick Garrity, and Kenny Darrah swept the 100 Free. BHS placed one and two in the 400 Freestyle Relay: (Bethel A: Patrick Garrity, Kenny Darrah, Kevin Gallagher, and Tucker Bjornson; Bethel B; James Canfield, Brian Sjblom, Sarah Whalen, and Andrew Guercio).
Laura Steinmetz and Andrew Guercio placed two, three in the 100 Breast. Tucker Bjornson, who has been strong all season, won both of his two individual events (200 IM and 100 Back). Kyle Rogers, James Canfield and Cara Bernardo finished two, three, four in the 100 Fly. In addition, Bethel divers, Rebecca Jones and Alex Nakid, placed one and two.
“The win!” exclaims Alexa Witcofsky, senior swimmer. “Definitely my favorite swim moment. We are a mostly girls’ team swimming in a boys’ season so it’s extremely difficult for us to win meets.”
Laura Steinmetz, also a senior swimmer, has “swam since [she] was a freshman, and this is only the third meet we have won in four years.” She says, “I am so happy to end the season on a happy, celebratory note. It made the four years of dedication worthwhile to see the smile on [Coach] McGowan’s face and the entire team.”
Additionally, February 14 was Senior Night. Senior Night is a tradition for sports team where the juniors organize a party allowing the team to celebrate the seniors, considering it is their last game or meet with the team.
Steinmetz and Witcofsky, in addition to Patrick Garrity, all seniors on the swim team, agree that “being a senior on swim has been a great experience.” Garrity specifically says, “Senior Night was awesome and it was one of the best nights of my life so far.” Steinmetz adds “The win on senior night meant the world to me.”
Coach McGowan summarizes, “It was a very emotional night (being the seniors last regular season meet) and winning that meet is something they will never forget!”