Salem Swim Team Poised For Winning Season
The Salem swim team is looking to continue their winning ways of 2009-2010.
Fresh off of its first winning season in 10 years, the Salem High School swim team entered the 2010-2011 campaign with high hopes of continuing to rescue the program from mediocrity.
Now, about midway through the season, Head Coach John Strom is pleased with his team's work ethic and the positive results it is generating.
"We lost a couple of very talented seniors from last year, and I was looking for some people who would step up and fill in," said Strom. "We won the meet we should have won, and did very well against Danvers...our next few meets will be against evenly matched teams so they will be very important for us."
Connor Dooley and Tom Regan left holes at the 100 fly and sprint freestyle events upon graduation, but captain Jorge Barzola and Jeff Turben are covering the freestyle events exceptionally, and Julie Nguyen has added the fly events to her breast stroke and individual medley talents.
Through three meets, the Witches are 1-2, defeating Lynn English in the season opener 95-72 before falling to Marblehead and Danvers in the subsequent match ups.
The Danvers squad, which nearly doubles the size of Salem, won their meet by just seven points; a margin Strom was more than satisfied with. "Danvers is a good program, and to be honest, we kept it closer than I expected we would. I was very happy with our performance," Strom said.
Other swimmers who are competing at a high level thus far and look to build on their momentum are freshman Kevin Clyne, who leads the team in points, Erin Gard, the team leader in points among girls, and Richard Cole, who qualified for sectionals with his diving display earlier this season.
The Witches will take on Peabody on Thursday Jan. 6, and will need to be in peak form in order to improve to .500.
"Our focus will have to be on the relays in these tough meets," said Strom. "We tell our kids to swim hard and stay out of sixth place, that way we can score points with every swimmer."
Following the meet at Peabody, Salem will travel to Revere and Swampscott, with a diving meet in between.