Swimmers look back on championship season

The Northgate-Avonworth swim team at recent state competition.

The championship season is over. The Northgate-Avonworth swim team’s undefeated record for the boys, one loss for the girls, is now in the books, as are the great showings at state competition in both individual and medley events.

Not in any books, though, are the memories of the athletes whose skills and dedication placed the team at the top of the win column for all of the sports teams from both schools so far this year.

Swimmers take the sport seriously, of course, working with the same competitive fervor that is found in other sports, but there is a uniqueness to swimmers, as in the post-meet poem they always chanted to the visiting team:

“Potato chips, potato chips,
Munch, munch, munch,
We think (insert visiting team’s name)
Is a mighty fine bunch!”
(Followed with applause.)

And so, as important as the wins and the medals and the records that were set are the memories that were made, as expressed by a few of the swimmers who contributed to the victories.

Junior Nick Madey said, "I will always hold this team in my heart because all of us made history together. First we became the first section champs in swimming for Northgate-Avonworth, and this year I was part of the relay that earned the firstgold medal for our team’s swimming."

For senior Anna Wagner, there was something far more important than the wins, nice as they were. "The biggest thing I can take away from my four years of high school swimming are the relationships I've made with my coaches and teammates. I will always remember the people over the events."

Aidan Sommers, a sophomore, will forever appreciate the rewards of hard work. "The team's memories have really stuck in my heart through all of our hard work and our rise to a championship status. Our team has gone from being relatively unknown to undefeated section champs, which is an amazing feeling."

And another sophomore, Karen Sidoway, will forever remember "WPIALs: Standing in a back hallway at Pitt, waiting to be let on deck, the whole team singing at the top of our lungs while all the other teams looked like they were going to throw up. We genuinely have fun together."

Finally, junior Zech Boyce expresses what surely are the feelings of all of his teammates: "I will never forget the friendships and memories I made this season"

With so many underclass members on the team, Coach Jesse McKelvey looks forward to leading her returning swimmers to another championship season.

“There aren't enough pages in ‘The Citizen’ to express the ‘Flamesalopes’’ story. I look back at where we started and see how far we have come in such a relatively short time, and my coach heart practically bursts with the pride I have in our team. Not only for the athletic achievements, but also what character and unity we have. We have all created something great and it’s only going to get better in the years to come,” she said.