Girls swim enjoys successful season

OPRF’s girls swim team has had a successful season so far, winning the Riverside- Brookfield invitational and beating Fenwick on Sep. 21 for the first time in Clyde Lundgren’s 24-year career as the girls varsity swim coach.

“There’s kind of a friendly rivalry between the two schools,” said Lundgren. “A lot of the girls know each other. It brings an interesting aspect to the contest and it feels good to come away with the victory.”

Senior captain Teagan Osga has had similar experiences with the rivalry. “So many of our girls know so many of the Fenwick girls. The spirit and pride we bring in as a team gives everyone so much motivation,” said Osga.

However, the team still desires to compete and do the best they can against the cross-town school. “Winning against Fenwick was huge for us,” said junior Amanda Lane. “They almost always win so beating them got everyone really excited for the outcome of this season.”

Coming back in person, the team has shown good character working through a season so different than the last. “The transition from being at home to having full days and then practices after school has been tough,” said Lundgren. “There have been some rough patches, but for the most part I’m really pleased with how they’ve handled all that.”

Osga understands the advantage of being back with the team full time and credits some of the team’s success to being able to communicate effectively. “Physically being back together as a team has been a game changer, and we have been taking advantage of communication face-to-face to make sure everyone is on the same page.”

Through the pandemic and the transition back to in-person school, the team has been staying positive. “Something that really helped our team this year is just trying to have fun,” said Lane. “This year has been my favorite group of girls so far because of the overall energy we give off.”

The varsity team is well-rounded with upperclassmen, such as senior Teagan Osga and junior Victoria Kouris, as well as underclassmen, such as Sadie Murphy and Jessica Li.

“I think Jessica and I are a good addition along with the other freshmen on JV. We all fit the team dynamic really well and that makes us better overall,” said Murphy.

With the season coming to an end and state coming up later this month, the team has started to prepare for the important meet. “There has been a big shift this week for our team in terms of preparing for the rest of the season,” said Osga. “We have all narrowed down our events and are starting to train in more specific ways that are getting us ready to swim at our finals meets.”

“We always want to get as many people to the state meet as we can. If we can get a couple of girls through to state I would call it a successful season.” said Lundgren.

He also commented on the team’s hopes of winning sectionals. “It’s something that hasn’t happened in a couple of decades. I think us beating Fenwick in the dual meet and finishing ahead of them in some invitationals shows that the writing is on the wall for us to come away with the win at the sectional meet.”

“Everyone on the team has had such a great season and we are so excited for conference and sectionals coming up soon,” said Amanda Lane.

The team is excited for the outcome of the season and team members are confident they can finish strong.