The Wilson swim team ended their fraught-with-obstacles season on a high note with both the boys and girls teams winning the DCIAA championship. The victories came after the unexpected departure of their coach and the loss of the Wilson pool as a practice location for several weeks because of maintenance.
Due to the pool’s maintenance, the team bounced around to different aquatic centers city-wide, searching for a convenient place to hold practices. The team settled on the Takoma Aquatic Center, the place where the team would carry out its practices until the Wilson pool was ready for use. Despite the inconvenience, sophomore Lucy Harllee found a silver lining. “[It] wasn’t that bad because it was only two days a week,” she said.
Although it was in a less than optimal situation, the team continued to put in the work and get faster. “It was highly possible it could have turned into a lost season,” new replacement coach Robert Scheller said. “The team stuck it out and achieved great things this season.” The reopening of the Wilson pool made getting to and from practice easier for most students. The success of the team is a testament to good coaching and dedication by the swimmers on the team.
Their success is also in many ways due to the fact that Wilson has “a lot more swimmers than other public schools do,” Harllee said. “The way that the meets are scored is all about winning the highest number of events, most other public schools do not fill up all the events,” she said. Wilson’s swim team has historically been one of the strongest in the DCIAA, never having placed outside of the top three teams in the city. The girls team has placed first at three of the last four championships and the boys have won two of the last four.
Both the girls and boys teams won their respective DCIAA championships with Wilson swimmers placing first in roughly 20 events. Five individuals and three relay teams qualified for the METROS along with the best of the best swimmers from the DMV to compete at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships.
Although no swimmers made it to the finals at METROS, it “was an opportunity that many swimmers never get to experience,” Scheller said. “I could see [the swimmers’] desire and expectation to get back there soon again.” Swimming is only a DCIAA sport and is not part of DCSAA so there is not a state meet. The rough start to the season did not end up affecting the final result. The team’s hard work paid off and many swimmers are looking forward to repeating next year.