Promising signs for Warwick team
Ben Smith believes the Warwick Academy swim team are starting to show their true collective potential after a positive showing at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships.
Taking place at the Franklin and Marshall Kunkel Aquatic Centre in South Central Pennsylvania, in the United States, the team finished a respectable twentieth overall out of 42 schools involved.
As one of the considerably smallest teams competing, Smith was delighted with his swimmers efforts, both on an individual basis and as a team, with both relay teams reaching the finals.
“The first time we went to the event last year, a lot of the swimmers hadn’t done a lot of competitive meets but this year we were much more prepared,” said the head coach.
“We’d been to the Winter Championships and so they had that exposure and so going into the Championships we knew what they were capable of.
“The timing of the meet is not ideal because a lot of the team are going through their mock exams but they did brilliantly all things considered.
“Finishing twentieth overall was really good for a team of our size and we actually scored more individually than teams four-times the size as ours so that’s great.
“We had a large number of personal bests but the real pleasing thing was that it was a real team effort with a lot of the guys getting into finals and that’s what we always want to do.
“Our relay teams did brilliantly with the girls getting into the A final and the boys into the B final.
“They were able to show how strongly they can compete under pressure and for that reason I was really pleased with the outcome.
“Being able to get into those finals is showing us the depth of our programme and that is really encouraging to see.”
Smith also believes that as a result of their performances, rivals are now taking notice of the team as they attempt to build on burgeoning relationships.
“Having spoken to other teams while we are away, you can see the difference in how they see us at competitions,” Smith added.
“In the first year, there was a bit of novelty having us there because we were the only team from outside of the US, but now they are embracing us and talking about possible meets between schools. It’s all about building those relationships.
“People are now seeing us as genuine rivals rather than just a novelty element and hopefully we can keep building on that.”
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