Competitive swimmers lie at core of yearling varsity team

Sports; GSA; swim; Dec.; pelletier; 1889; 121114; Eagles; GSA; George Stevens Academy; game; high school; school; sport; sports; swimming; team Sophomore Maya Pelletier competes in the womens’ 500-yard freestyle event. Photo by Franklin Brown

Sophomore Maya Pelletier competes in the womens’ 500-yard freestyle event. Photo by Franklin Brown

In its second year competing at the varsity level, the George Stevens Academy Eagles swim team is a mix of veterans and inexperienced swimmers.

“We’ve only had seven practices so we’re still feeling our way,” said Coach Don Driscoll. “We have a lot of freshmen who have never been involved in competitive swimming.”

Seniors Madison Cole, Cedar Slagle and Emma Richardson are captains of the 33-member squad. The girls team of 20 members holds considerably more depth than the boys team of 12, but both have a core of those who competed at the state championships last year.

 “We really have three outstanding girls,” said Coach Don Driscoll. “[Sophomores] Maya Pelletier and  Emma Larson-Whittaker have been involved in competitive swimming for years. [Freshman] Ava Sealander from Brooklin—she’s an outstanding swimmer so it’s really nice to have her.”

Driscoll, who coached the inaugural varsity team last year, also noted “a whole group of other girls who [are] pretty good swimmers,” such as freshman Mary Richardson and junior Karina Steenberg.

“The boys team is small,” Driscoll said. “You have to have numbers in high school teams.”

The six returning boys bring experience and, for some, school records. “[Sophomore] Garrison Looke is strong,” Driscoll said. “He’s swum two school records. [Sophomore] Evan Soukop also has done very well.”

Other returning boys are juniors Lucas Theoharidis, who holds the school record in the 100-yard back stroke, and Alex Wang, a member of the school record-holding medley team. Sophomores Alex Taylor-Lash and Erik Taylor-Lash are also back.

Driscoll shies away from looking ahead to the championships where, last year, the team broke school records and one swimmer, who has transferred out of GSA this year, posted top-10 finishes.

“It’s hard for me to make any predictions,” he said. “In comparison to last year, I think it’s a pretty good team.”

alex; prokoopov; 1940; Eagles; GSA; George Stevens Academy; game; high school; school; sport; sports; swimming; team Junior Alexey Prokopov swims a leg in the men’s 200 yard relay. Photo by Franklin Brown

Junior Alexey Prokopov swims a leg in the men’s 200 yard relay. Photo by Franklin Brown

alex; wang; 1948; Eagles; GSA; George Stevens Academy; game; high school; school; sport; sports; swimming; team Junior Alex Wang swims the men’s 200 yard relay event. Photo by Franklin Brown

Junior Alex Wang swims the men’s 200 yard relay event. Photo by Franklin Brown

Chesney; 2113; Eagles; GSA; George Stevens Academy; game; high school; school; sport; sports; swimming; team Alyssa Chesney swims the women

Alyssa Chesney swims the women’s 100 yard breast stroke. Photo by Franklin Brown

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