Girls’ swimming is winning

Girls’ team enjoys back to back victories for first time in coach’s 12-year tenure


Junior Laurel York swims butterfly in the 200 Individual Medley.

Geoff Belcher, Adviser

The Cap-8 conference is among the most competitive swimming conferences in the state. While conference victories have remained elusive for both the boys’ and girls’ swimming programs, the girls’ team recently enjoyed rare success.

The team scored back to back victories Jan. 7 and Jan. 26, defeating a total of five different non conference teams at the two meets.

“It feels really good. I think it’s a real confidence booster because honestly it’s really disheartening to lose so much, and it’s nice to win once in a while,” junior Madeline Allain said.

The teams defeated Smithfield, West Johnson and East Wake Jan. 7 and added a victory over South East Raleigh Jan. 26 and additional victories over West Johnson and East Wake that same meet.

Allain, freshmen Hannah Dion, junior Emma Isley and senior Mackenzie Wahl  won the 200 medley relay (2:12.20) and Allain, Dion, Isley and junior Laurel York won the 200 free relay (1:55.69).

In addition, Allain won the 200 individual medley (2:42.16) and the 500 free (6;31.39).

Allain reflected on how the victories might affect the growth of the WF swimming program.

“A lot of people didn’t even know we had a swim team, and I think that winning two meets definitely raises awareness that we have a swim team,” Allain said. “And hopefully next year, since we’re actually winning things, more people will join.”

Wahl also scored wins Jan. 26 in the 100 back (1:15.47) and the 100 fly (1:13.48) while Isley won the 50 free (26.15) and the 100 free (1:00.08).

Senior Emma Vukovich also won the 200 free (2:51.57), while York won the 100 breast (1:28.53).

Vukovich compared the victory to the team’s conference experiences.

“Definitely a different feeling for the team, cause we just kind of got used to being beaten by all the Cap-8 teams who have a bunch of year round swimmers, so it was really exciting to finally get a win, and now to have two wins in a row, it was just kind of like surprising, but in a good way,” Vukovich said.

Richards, who has coached the team for 12 seasons, has yet to have a girls’ team post back to back victories.

Saturday Jan. 31, the girls’ returned to the reality of the juggernaut of Cap-8 swimming in the conference meet. The girls placed eighth in conference with 59 points. The 7th place Heritage Huskies scored 216 points. The boys team, comprised of only six swimmers, also finished eighth.

As a bright spot on the day, girls’ 200 free relay qualified for regional competition to be held Saturday, Feb 14.