The Verona Waves came on strong in their last four swim meets chalking up two wins and two losses, improving their overall season record to 2-4. Despite many impressive races, including those from Sophie Beauboeuf, Ryan McMahon, Kieran Quinn and Emma Sheehan, the squad came up just 28 points short in their matchup at home against Millburn on July 5.
The Waves found the lane to the winners circle on July 7 when they visited Livingston. Strong races from Julia Komninos, Evan Bannon, Jaime Hoimark, and Matt Dillane propelled the team to its first win. They followed up this strong performance with another win against Livingston on July 11, this time at home. The Waves were led by Kelly Nulty, Will Sheehan, Jenna Gabbe, and Nolan O’Toole. Unfortunately, July 13 saw another loss to a tough Millburn team at the Millburn pool.
After coming up short in their first two contests of the season, assistant coach Mike Dillane explained that the team rebounded quickly because after the first week the “kids really begin to see the potential they can have when they race and just how great it is to be a part of this team and that really turns it around.”
Dillane said that the coaching staff has also improved as each meet is an “eye opening” opportunity for them to better assess what their swimmers need to improve upon for their next meet and which areas they need to give more focus to during practice. “You notice things when kids are racing that you wouldn’t pick up on in practice,” he said, “and as a team there were some areas that we had to work on so the second week that was the priority and that helped lead into the difference.”
While the coaches focused on tweaking strokes and improving technique to help the Waves surge forward, some of their swimmers said they were ignited by the energy from the coaching staff at practice every morning and on deck at every meet. “The positive energy from the coaches gets channeled to the swimmers and then they use that because they want to support their town and their team,” Collin Welsh, a swimmer for the Waves explained.
This dynamic combination of the coaches’ passion for their sport and their swimmers’ determination to improve and succeed, helped the team power its way past a formidable opponent and puts them in ideal position to achieve further success.
Verona will complete their dual meet schedule with rematches at the Verona Community Pool on Monday, July 18, against Berkley Heights and away against Madison on Tuesday, July 19. The Waves look to finish the season with a tremendous splash before heading into the post-season championship meets.
Photos courtesy Donna Giuliano.