Boys swim: season preview

The boy’s varsity swim team has enjoyed success over the past few years at OPRF, winning conference and placing fourth in the state in 2019.

“The past few seasons have been an incredible experience for me,” said senior Thomas Rotatori. “I’ve been a part of two sectional championship teams, two conference championships, and a fourth place finish in the state.”

Coach Clyde Lundgren also praised his team and their recent success. “We’ve had some strong teams recently. Most of our school and pool records have a ’21 or ’20 next to them,” he said. “We were arguably the best team in the state last year, but we’ll never know because there wasn’t a state series. We won the conference last year, winning all but one swim event and setting new meet records in each.”

No matter the level of success the team achieves, Lundgren believes the goal stays the same. “The goal of the program is … to grow as people. We get to use swimming and diving as context to do that. As far as performance goals, we’d love to have a few boys qualify for the state meet and score and compete for sectional and conference championships.”

Rotatori credited the team’s good work ethic for their success. “I think we had one of the most motivated and hard-working groups of guys that were willing to push each other to be better every day,” he said. “From the beginning of the previous seasons we had our sights set on a potential conference championship and a high finish at state, and we were willing to do whatever it took to get there.”

The 2021 season will be the team’s first year back full in person, and Rotatori is excited about it. “I’ll have the opportunity to grind with my teammates, as well as compete against other teams on a weekly basis.”

Lundgren preached his team’s maturity. “Some classes are more ready than others, but these guys are ready,” he said. “I would say in large part because of what they have had to endure outside the walls of the pool. Living through a pandemic has had an effect on all of us. I’m proud of how our team has responded to the adversity. You can feel their appreciation for getting to play their sport.”

“The potential to actually be able to swim and have a full championship season is what I am most excited for,” said senior Matthias Maser.

Maser credits Rotatori with a lot of the team’s leadership. “Thomas has taken a large leadership role upon himself,” he said. Other senior leaders include Maser, Philip Walby, and Ben Louis.

“We are fortunate to have a steady stream of leadership for the current seniors to step into,” said Lundgren.

The OPRF swim and dive team has a great history, and there has been no shortage of things to be proud of recently. “I’m fond of the saying that tough times don’t build character, rather they reveal it. I’m grateful for the poise and resolve that the boys and their families have shown as they’ve navigated the challenges of doing a sport during the pandemic and even the most recent shutdown. I’m proud to be a part of the swim and dive community at OPRF,” said Lundgren.

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