By Evan Rummerfield
For the Keizertimes

Last Saturday, Dec. 14, was a big meet for the McNary swim team. Varsity athletes competed in an invitational meet where 10 schools attended. That meet was only a stepping stone for the swimmers to achieve their goals this season.

The swimmers make the sport a positive environment. A senior captain, Emily McNichols, said, “We are a wild bunch and young.”

Another senior captain, Alex Fox, stated, “There is a ton of new kids. When the new kids are seniors, they will be good.” Fox also mentioned that last years team had about 60 to 70 athletes, and this year the number of swimmers has dropped to around 40.

Even though a large number of swimmers did not return this season, the newcomers are having a great swimming experience.

Davis McHugh, a freshman, shared, “The people are nice and fun to be around, plus I like the coach (Kim Phillips).”

McNichols also said, “Kim gets the job done.”

“Kim, I believe, is excited to see what the seniors will do and what the new kids will do this year,” said Fox.

There is a lot of potential for swimmers in the next few years. Pearl Prinslow is just one example of many possibilities. Prinslow is a varsity swimmer and only a freshman. When she comes to practice each day, she said, “I feel welcome. It is fun and hard at times.” She is looking forward to working on the 200 breaststroke. One goal for Prinslow is to just get better. Another goal she shared was to make varsity, but she kind of already accomplished that.

Prinslow is not the only swimmer looking forward to setting and achieving goals.

Fox is training hard at practices to be able to place in the top six at the district meet in the 100 breaststroke. For the 100 breaststroke, he also said, “We can get three in the top six.”

McHugh simply stated, “I look forward to getting into the pool.” His goal is to get good at swimming and specifically work on the 100 backstroke. “I plan to work hard at practice, and making varsity would be nice.” Making varsity will be difficult for McHugh because McNary’s boys are stacked, but nothing is impossible.

McNichols’ goal is to make it into the finals at the district meet and rip off her sweats before her event. Her main event is the 100 backstroke. She is also looking forward to “bonding with the team, having a party, and swimming my heart out.”

The swimmers have a large chunk of time to improve even more; they do not have a meet for a few weeks. They will be practicing and working hard over winter break, but after winter break they will be competing again.