Upperclassmen embrace leadership role for Hampton girls swimming team
By: Devon Moore
Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 11:05 PM
A natural part of an athlete's growth cycle is learning to teach younger teammates knowledge and techniques for the betterment of the team.
For the Hampton girls swimmers, many of the upperclassmen have much to give. With only a handful of departed seniors, the team will look to send more girls to states than last season.
A near-lock for that accomplishment is senior diver Adrienne White, who is coming off two consecutive seasons of silver medals at the WPIAL Class AAA diving championships. She has finished in the top 10 in all three years of her high school career.
In her last season, though, the Duquesne commit is taking on a leadership role.
“We have a lot of new divers that don't know anything about diving,” second-year coach Morgan Zweygardt said. “She's just there ready to help them and is a great leader. It's her senior year, and she just wants to go out with a bang and have fun. She's just a positive person to have around.”
Zweygardt, a former Duquesne swimmer, said she had no influence over the college decision but is pleased nonetheless.
“She wants to major in nursing. … I know she loved the diving coach and the team. And of course I'm happy she's going to be a Duke.”
Senior Claire Williams has been another leader. She was a part of the 200-meter free relay at WPIALs last year and set a personal-best time.
“That kind of invigorated her (after WPIALs),” Zweygardt said. “She had never done preseason swim before, but this year she started practicing in September.”
Junior Lia Appel will look to break through after being a regular WPIAL qualifier since her freshman year. Last season she posted top-20 finishes in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.
“It's fun to see her step out of her box because she's a pretty shy girl,” Zweygardt said. “She just has to keep doing what she's been doing. She works hard. It's all there.”
Sophomores Lydia Quaglia and Rosy Oh also will look to improve on solid freshman campaigns. Quaglia went to WPIALs in the 100 fly, and Oh participated in the 200 IM. Both also competed in various relays.
“Those two, I think they have some of the freshman jitters out of the way,” Zweygardt said. “Both are faster than they were last year.”
Freshman Catie Kress hasn't shown any jitters thus far, already standing out in the 500 freestyle.
“She is really going to be one of our freshmen to watch,” Zweygardt said. “She's already going best times. Even though those times don't count, she (would have) already qualified for WPIALs in the 500.”
Other notable freshmen to watch are Julia Adamczyk and Laurel Lynn.
“This year is about working off what we learned about each other last year,” said Zweygardt, who had her own learning curve in her first season. “Once you start developing a relationship with the kids, I know how to teach them better. I can tell when they're not feeling great and know how to motivate them better.”
Devon Moore is a freelance writer.