Have you ever heard of Swimsgiving? Haven’t? You’re not alone.
Swimsgiving was the name the Columbia City boys and girls swim teams used when they all got together to hang out over the Thanksgiving break.
Swimsgiving is also the perfect example of one of those things a team primed for great things can point to as a sign of unity. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams this year have come together like never before as they prepare to take the next steps toward conference and state-level success.
Head coach Debi Bosselman said the early success the team has had can be attributed to one thing — the increased number of swimmers this year.
“We didn’t expect to see this many come out,”said Bosselman. “It’s nice to see the numbers again. They’ve really gelled as a team already.”
The team has 14 boys and 13 girls. Those numbers include 10 freshmen. The team has so many swimmers they have to rent out lane space at Wawasee and, for the first time in six years, the Columbia City will field a dive team.
Last year, the boys finished second in the Northeast 8 Conference and the girls were third. Bosselman thinks both teams can move up this year and possibly be represented a little more at the state swim meet also. Last year Ryan Devito, Matt Webber and Aaron Fix all qualified for state.
“We’re really trying to send a relay team this year,” said Bosselman about state qualifying.
Devito, Webber and Fix team with freshman Charlie Varga. Those four swim the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. The Eagles also have senior Josh Shauber swimming strong again this year.
The Lady Eagles also saw some early season success in the pool. Bosselman said Sophia Hatcher, Mykaela Crowell, Shauna Young and Lauren Listen have come pretty far this year. Plus, senior Kellie Frei and Lindsey Hoskins will swim in some big races for the team this year.
Bosselman said the mix of experienced swimmers and younger team members has come together quickly. The team spends a lot of time together outside of the pool. Bosselman said they go out and eat wings together, come up with events like Swimsgiving and generally enjoy being there for each other as teammates.
“There is no swimming against somebody else from our team,” said Bosselman. “They (the Columbia City swimmers) do what they need to do to beat the other team.”
The boys and girls teams have a big conference meet tonight. The teams will swim at home against conference foe Huntington North. That meet will be a big measuring stick for the teams to show them what work needs to be done before postseason swimming begins in February.