HHS Swim Team Makes Waves in 21-22 Season

Connor Richardson, Staff Writer

The Swim Team had a great season this year, competing at several meets, some of which were quite prestigious. The team this year consisted of “a combination of experienced and inexperienced swimmers,” according to Coach Johnston. These swimmers had many challenges facing them, but they persevered and set many new personal records. 

Coach Johnston was the new swim team coach this year, so, naturally, he had to get used to all of the challenges they faced. Even through these challenges, he kept his head held high and pushed his swimmers to be the best they could be. “I was new to the swim team this year,” Johnston said, and “what stood out to me was getting to know the swimmers and encouraging them to be their best.” He is especially proud of the swimmers who stayed throughout the season considering the fact that they didn’t have a training facility close by, that there was a Covid outbreak, and that some swimmers left the team mid-season.

Despite all this, members of the team kept on swimming. Some of their best meets were the McCallie Invitational and regionals in Calhoun. Since, as Coach Johnston pointed out, “Swim is a sport where there isn’t really a placement in the region, as lots of our traditional region opponents do not have a swim team,” the success of a team and its members is measured by the time each swimmer gets in their category. “The GHSA posts a time for each event that qualifies that individual or relay team to compete in the state swim meet,” Johnston explained. While we did not have a swimmer qualify for State this year, “we did . . . have multiple swimmers greatly improve on their event times throughout the season,” said Johnston. Sophomore Emma Williams noted that “Regions was probably our best meet because we shaved off a bunch of our times, and a few of our swimmers qualified for finals.”

There were a few particular swimmers that stood out to Coach Johnston and their teammates for their leadership, perseverance, and skill. “Our two senior boys certainly deserve recognition,” said Johnston. One of these was Zach Scheeler, who’s been a member of the swim team for four years, and “was solid all season.” Senior Gavin Colquitt also stood out, as he was new to the swim team this season but was still a “tremendous competitor.” Junior Timmy Jones was “our most consistent boys swimmer.” According to Johnston, he “was posting his best times at the end of the season, which is what you want to see: consistent improvement.” On the girls’ side, sophomore Emma Pulliam returned to the team after taking a medical break from swimming for over a year, and she was “a huge contributor to the team.” Johnston also highlighted sophomores Emma Williams, Jaslin Pack, Mariana Easley, and freshman Anna Bradford as “solid” swimmers: “we could count on them for most anything,” he said, noting that “they even swam in events they didn’t traditionally compete in.”

Overall, said Johnston, “I’m very proud of what the team was able to accomplish and what they were able to overcome. Going ahead, I definitely see a bright future for the HHS Swim Team.”