The Wesleyan Swim and Dive team had an impressive performance at state to finish out their already successful season. Beginning in October, the Wet Wolves pushed through close to five months of strenuous training and a rigorous schedule to earn their spot at state. With such a talented state team, there was much potential for a great showing. Head Coach Kevin Kadzis said, “The team morale was really high. Everyone was very optimistic about the possibilities of doing very well.”
Kadzis said that the “expectations [for state] were that everyone would swim and dive to their absolute best ability and improve their score or times as well.”
Senior Nicole Fasciana added, “We did not know how the other teams were going to shape up compared to us. You never really know because you could have a good race or a bad race, so we were just hoping for the best.”
The team had three specific goals. The first goal was for all six relays to make it back to the final session, three boys and three girls, which the team accomplished. Senior James Claffey and freshman Colton Villa both agreed that this was the highlight of the meet. The second goal was that the boy’s team would finish in the top ten. They finished 7th. The final goal was for the girls to finish in the top five, and they finished 4th.” Kadzis noted that “[this] performance was not surprising. I knew we were in a position to swim and dive very well, and do extremely well at the meet.”
Wesleyan diving dominated at state once again. With divers from divisions 1A to 5A, there was no shortage of competition. Seniors Abby Gardner and Kate McCahan clinched first and third place respectively. With a combined score, they were able to win the girls meet. With her first place finish, Gardner set a new state record and became the second diver in Georgia history to four-peat as a state champion. The first female diver to four-peat was Wesleyan graduate, Lauren Hall. Gardner plans to attend Stanford in the fall. Meanwhile, senior diver Joseph Berney earned a ninth place finish for the Wolves with a score of 352.95.
Beyond their outstanding performance at the meet, which Kadzis noted as “the best we possibly could have done,” the team used their state experience and preparation to grow closer.
Claffey said, “The team was smaller than usual, so I felt closer to the team. A lot were seniors. There were only five or six boys, so we got close.” In addition to the smaller size, Kadzis added that the team bonded because “everyone came together and really trusted in each other and believed in their ability.” For freshman Colton Villa this was the last time he could connect with the seniors before they graduate. Villa said that he would miss the seniors most next season.
With the end of the season, Fasciana similarly said, “I will miss seeing my friends every day, even though it was really hard, it is fun.”
Despite the size of the team, the swimmers and divers were able to achieve great things when they came together. Their performance at state made this year’s team one of the best in recent years. And with some great upcoming and returning swimmers, next season looks to be just as successful as this year’s.