Back-to-back wins for the Woodland girls’ swim team can be attributed to one key development: the team’s confidence level.
Wins over Sacred Heart and St. Paul have lifted the Hawks into a better position heading into the final part of the regular season. During the last few weeks, Woodland head coach Mike Magas said the team has worked hard in practice, and it has paid off in meets.
“We were pretty confident going in to the last two meets,” Magas said. “We’re just going to keep pushing them in practice and then taper off as we get closer to the states.”
The last two meets prove that intense practices are producing results. Magas said some individual times have increased recently in meets due, in part, to more strenuous practices.
“We tell them, don’t worry about the times,” Magas said. “We tell them that means our practices are working.”
The Hawks are getting positive results from many different parts of the team—freshmen as well as seniors, divers and relay teams alike, the Hawks are getting better at the right time. Proof came in the form of a school record and personal best times on Tuesday afternoon against St. Paul.
Katie-Jean Hinckley broke the all-time school mark in the 500 freestyle and dropped her previous record time by more than a second. On Tuesday, in the 94-80 win over St. Paul, Hinckley set a new standard with a time of 5 minutes, 28.51 seconds.
Hinckley was also joined in a first-place finish in the 200 free relay. Hinckley, along with Sydney Corneau, Emily Soulier and Chrissy Leeper, won the top spot in 1:57.48.
Corneau also won the 50 free by 7 seconds, in 1:01.12, and took the 100 free in 27.43 seconds, over teammates Soulier and Anna Boris.
Leeper has continued to improve in the 100 butterfly and placed second on Tuesday with a time of 1:12.97, while a trio of freshmen has also done its part during recent wins. Showing versatility, Leeper also won the 200 IM against Sacred Heart last week.
Boris, along with fellow freshmen Katie Porter and Katie Blair, have been steadily improving and contributing valuable finishes as the season progresses. Magas has been impressed with their adjustment to the varsity level.
Key points have also come from the divers. On Tuesday, Dayna Chucta, Katerina Smith and Kim Thrasher took first, second and third, respectively, as the Hawks swept the diving event. Skye Rankin and Liz Martin have also provided key dives for the team.
Chucta also won the diving event against Sacred Heart.
Perhaps the best example of hard work has come from senior Amanda Gagne, who finished second to Hinckley in the 500 free and was a member of the second-place team in the 200 free relay with Boris, Whitney Stow and Chloe Flanagan. Gagne’s determination and effort during her senior year has inspired the team, Magas said.
“I see the other girls noticing Amanda’s hard work,” he noted. “She leads by example, not by being vocal. It’s true what they say, actions speak louder than words.”