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PC Women’s Swim and Dive wins their seventh straight SMAC conference championship

Junior+Julia+Semler+prepares+for+her+swim%2C+as+she+braces+herself+on+the+block.
Junior Julia Semler prepares for her swim, as she braces herself on the block.

Junior Julia Semler prepares for her swim, as she braces herself on the block.

Courtesy of Julia Semler

Courtesy of Julia Semler

Junior Julia Semler prepares for her swim, as she braces herself on the block.

Sylvie Croteau, Staff Writer

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On Saturday, November 3rd, the Portage Central Women’s Swimming and Diving (PCSD) team won their seventh straight Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference, or SMAC for short, making this their eighteenth conference win in twenty years.

With the swim season ending in two weeks after the Division 2 state meet, swim coach Jim Schafer is thinking ahead to next year.

“I think the Bridgman Lakeshore Co-Op was a very good team, and I only see them getting better.” The team, hailing from Bridgman, MI, is one of PC’s greatest competitors. Even with only sixteen swimmers, they are neck to neck with our swimmers in the pool during the dual meet and at conference.

This year, PCSD loses seven seniors when they graduate. In Schafer’s eyes, it’s time for the underclassmen to step up to the blocks and take initiative.

“… That’s the expectation every year. We lost so many people this year and it challenged the team to step up and it’ll challenge the team to step up next year.”

Even though it’s a coach’s job to look into the future, the swimmers on the team are doing the same thing.

“I love seeing all of the underclassmen come in on the first day,” junior Julia Semler said. “It reminds me of when I was an underclassman. I think back to myself and think if this is what the others were thinking when they first saw me.”

Sophomores are excited to see what happens in the pool for the next two years they’ll be swimming for PC.

I’m both excited and nervous to become a junior next year,” Molly Carlson said. “ I’m nervous because that means I only have two years of high school left! However, it’s also exciting because, I get the privilege to be a example on the team as an upperclassmen.”

“We will all miss the seniors so much,” Maggie Farrell said. “[But] we are a strong team and we will all work hard to have another good season.”

Even said underclassmen are excited to see what happens

“I’m really excited to meet new people and find my own group this year,” freshman Aiyanna Durepo said. During the off season, Durepo swims on the Portage Aquatic Club (PAC), a local swim club. Even though the sports are the same, the difference between the environment changes her perspective on being on a team.

“I think at [PAC] I am more of an individual swimmer, where I feel like a teammate on the PC team.”

 

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PC Women’s Swim and Dive wins their seventh straight SMAC conference championship