Swim and Dive
The 2019-2020 Swim and Dive season was a memorable one. Freshman newcomer Tuckor Lambert helped boost the Boys A relay. While on the girls side Ava Row was a nice addition to their relays. Seniors Connor Huckeby, Tony Lu, and Josie Vance all had great senior years. The junior class helped carry much of the team’s weight this year, Graham Weidenhammer, Tannor Lambert, Brooke Farren, and Emma Logan have all become staple Pioneers. Seven year head coach J.R. Fourqueren had a new assistant coaching staff join him this season. Sam Nowjack and Devoney Chaimer both have swimming experience, and they brought new ideas to the team.
The Pioneers had lots of success stemming from early meets that went well. They kicked off the season at the Westerville Community Center against Westerville South. It was a very successful morning for the Pioneers. They then moved on toUpper Arlington resulting in a rough night for the Pioneers winning 1 out of 26 events. After that was the Ned Reeb Invitational at The Ohio State University, it was an unusual day on the boys side as both relays had to scratch out of the meet due to an illness. But the girls had tons of success, with time drops in individual events. As the ‘Neers entered Winter break, their strengths began to show, the depth of the Pioneers helped preveal in the dual meet against rival Olentangy. The capped off Winter break by heading to North Canton Hoover High School for the Northeast Classic, a relay disqualification hurt the boys relay and they didn’t make it back to finals.
As the end of January approached, the championship season began to set in. The regular season results didn’t mean anything at OCC’s or Sectionals.The Pioneers went into OCC’s banking on their depth and point scorers. This proved to be a strong strategy for the most part. Tannor Lambert’s disqualification in the 200 IM hurt the boys chances in team scores though. The boys placed third behind Westerville North and Olentangy Liberty who won for the fourth consecutive year. The girls placed second behind Olentangy Liberty. Graham Weidenhammers third place finish in the 100 breaststroke along with Tuckor Lambert’s fourth place in the 100 free and 100 backstroke boosted the boys. On the girls side, Alex Knodel took second in the 200 free and third in the 500 free. Brooke Farren took third in the 100 fly as well.
In the next 2 weeks Sectionals and Districts came for the Pioneers. At Sectionals multiple Pioneers qualified for districts. All six of the Pioneer relays qualified for districts at sectionals; these included the 200 medley relays, 200 freestyle relays, and the 400 freestyle relays. Tuckor Lambert, Graham Weidenhammer, Kayla Fisher, Alex Knodel, Emma Logan, and Brooke Farren all qualified individually. Jenna Durst, Josie Vance, and Paige Kadar all qualified in 1m diving. It was a very successful day for many Pioneers. “It was fun, I had never been to a high school meet like that but I kind of knew what to expect after seeing Tann do it the past couple of years.” said Freshman Tuckor Lambert.
Districts like Ned Reeb were also held at Ohio State. The boys 200 medley relay finished 13, and the 200 freestyle relay finished 15. The girls medley finished 13, the 400 free relay finished 9, and the 200 freestyle relay finished 17. Individually in the 100 fly Brooke Farren finished 28, Graham Weidenhamer finished 21 in the 200 freestyle and 16 in the 100 breastroke, Alex Knodel finished 17 in the 500 free, and 15 in the 200 free. Kayla FIsher finished 16 in the 100 freestyle, and 20 in the 100 back. Emmal Logan finished 20 in the 100 breastroke, and 22 in the 200 IM. Tuckor Lambert finished 21 in the 100 freestyle and 15 in the 100 back.
There were many new things for the Pioneers this past swim and dive season. Among the new coaches. One of the oddest had to be the number of seniors. There had been more than 10 seniors the past two years on the swim and dive team. With only three the team looked for leadership in other areas. The Swim team doesn’t choose captains, it’s found leadership. A group approach to one of the more individual based sports. “Swim has always been about the group more than the individual, what can I do for the team.” Senior Connor Huckeby said.
The Pioneers will look forward to next season. The boys relay of Weidenhamer, Crowe, and the Lambert Brothers will look to try and make their way to Canton for the state meet next year. The 2020-2021 season will have around 11-14 seniors. A big spike from last season. With strong incoming freshman and a great group of returning swimmers, the work in the pool in the off-season will help decide the future of the 2020-2021 season for the Pioneers.