DC Swim: On The Rise!

DC Swim: On The Rise!

The thirty-nine members of the DC swim team (aka “The Warriors of the Water) will compete in the Metro Buckeye Championship swim meet on Saturday night – and you don’t want to miss it!

Not only does the team have a really great shot of faring very well in the meet, you will want to know
•Will Brooke Darkow, school record holder in the 50 Butterfly, win her final races in the MBC where she is seeded first in the 50- and 100- Freestyle?
• Can the boys 200 Medley and 200 Freestyle relay team break the school records again? (200 Freesyle relay team: Ben Geiss, Andrew Simmons, Andrew Haines, and Joshua Raisch; 200 Medley team: Ben Geiss Andrew Simmons, Andrew Haines, and Elijah Joyce.)
• Will Esther Collins, a long distance specialist on the team, win her 200 Freestyle race?

You’ll have to be in the stands to find out! And while you’re there, watch the positive, encouraging culture of this team as the girls seek to dethrone Yellow Springs from the top spot in the MBC and the boys push Troy Christian for top honors.

It is amazing to think that this group – which includes a large number of athletes new to the sport – practices mostly later in the evening sharing only three lanes at the West Carrollton YMCA. Amazing too, is the fact that this group has mushroomed from a group of sixteen four years ago to this crowd of thirty-nine – a size that is more typical in many of the Division I schools against whom they often compete.

When you talk to a DC swimmer, however, you’ll find that there is no mystery about why the team is growing. There are two reasons: One of them is the uplifting and family-like culture of the team and the other is their coach, Tom Wiggershaus.

The praise for their coach is effusive. In fact, every time I asked a swimmer about Wiggershaus for this article, each and every one of them broke into a wide smile when they spoke of him.

“Coach Tom is a great coach,” said sophomore Dylan Bower. “He maintains a fun but hard-working environment, he always takes time for each swimmer individually, and he is patient, kind, and humble. He cheers louder for his swimmers than anyone in the state, and he manages one of DC’s biggest athletic programs with ease.”

“Coach Tom is probably the best coach I have ever had,” said freshman Rebecca Skujins. “He is always so encouraging and pushes us to be OUR best. He never compares us to anyone else, and is proud of us no matter what. Even if you’re not the best swimmer, he puts you in several events and treats you like you are Michael Phelps.”

Wiggershaus’s coaching style inevitably breeds a culture of respect, positivity, and acceptance on the team, which explains the other reason DC high school students are joining the sport: It is a fun place where everyone feels like they belong.

“I personally love swimming, but I also love how bonded the team is. No matter how many students from all different grades join the team, it always feels like a big family,” said sophomore Andrew Haines.