As Lauren Drews emerged from the pool and walked toward teammates, she was greeted with high fives and happy smiles. The co-captain had just finished second in the 500 yard freestyle, and was fired up.
“I did better than I did a couple weeks ago,” Drews said. “It was a good race. I felt good about it.”
That was one of the highlights from Redmond Pool last Thursday, as Woodinville took on the Juanita Lady Rebels. Official stats weren’t available at the time of this writing. But other good moments included junior Sarah Epley securing a District qualifying time in the 100 free, and Vivian Sorosy hitting a Kingco qualifying time in the 100 free.
“Today was really good,” co-captain Amy Borer said. “We went out and swam the best that we could. We’ve having a good season and everyone is putting in a great effort.”
On this particular day, Woodinville was at a numbers disadvantage. Two girls were out with injuries and six others were sidelined with illness. But overall the team has momentum. The Falcons were fresh off their 130-54 win over Bothell a couple weeks prior. According to Woodinville coach George Sayah, morale is also high with the roster now stocked with new swimmers.
“Our overall roster is the highest it has been in at least 10 years, according to [athletic secretary Renae Hector],” Sayah said. “It’s also the biggest senor class we’ve had on record. It’s special to us. It’s a special season because of that. And our retention numbers are really high. Folks who have been with us before are coming back and doing a really nice job promoting our program. Every new athlete that came to us this year was the result of a referral.”
“The numbers are a lot better this year,” Borer added. “We’ve had a good amount of new people from each age group. We even had two seniors come in for their last year. That was awesome!”
Sophomore Gabi Hansen is one of the promising young swimmers on the JV squad. On this day, she set a personal record in both her diving and in the 50 freestyle.
“I would love to earn a spot on varsity,” Hansen said. “And if I could letter that would be really awesome. Other than that I just wish to keep improving.”
Hansen was also asked what she has appreciated most from being on the team.
“I’m not a really outgoing person and I have made more friends that I thought I would,” she said.
Sayah was asked for his end-of-season goals.
“We want to have our biggest post season team possible, and we think it’s definitely attainable,” he said. “We have a lot of newcomers who were dropping times like crazy tonight. It’s really important to our swimmers who haven’t been a part of this sport before, that we take care of them and teach the basic fundamentals, and then we see tremendous improvement. We’re seeing exciting things happening.”