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Not Just the “Fins”: Thorough Wrap Up for Girl’s Swim and Dive 2023-2024

Savannah Lawrence
The author’s physical copy of the team photo.

The winter sports season has ended, and the Girls Swim and Dive team has sent qualifying girls to state. How has the season progressed for the girls, and how do some of them feel about it?

This year, there are 15 graduating seniors on the team. The team captains, Lillie Ratican, Anneka Sedelmyer and Peyton Rice, as well as Annahi Marin, Hana Chiroux, Kallie Rogers, Macy White, Miriam Schuessler, Mina Mjelde, Moukhlisa Kodirova, Natalie Galindo, Rowan Bullock, Rumeli Espinosa, Sabrina Lasswell, and Gracie Lambert.

Overall, the score for the 2023-2024 season was 3-2, with a 1-1 away ratio. Coronado came in 2nd at Leagues, and several swimmers have made it to states. The coaches were Nathan Holm, Sydney McDaniel, Scott Crosby, with Maria Galucci as the manager.

The top finishes for each event are Kallie Rogers with 0:27.82 seconds in the 50 freestyle, Keaton Brown with 59.18 seconds in the 100 freestyle and 1:04.42 seconds in the 100 backstroke, Emery Meares with 1:07.04 seconds in the 100 butterfly, 2:12.55 seconds in the 200 free, 2:30.95 in the 200 individual medley, and 5:55.28 in the 500 freestyle, and Hana Chiroux with 1:25.4 in the 100 breaststroke.

The best times for relays were 01:51.75 for the 200 freestyle relay with Anneka Sedelmyer, Keaton Brown, Hana Chiroux, and Kallie Rogers, 02:07.19 for the 200 medley relay with Anneka Sedelmyer, Hana Chiroux, Emery Meares and Keaton Brown, and 4:08.56 for the 400 freestyle relay with Anneka Sedelmyer, Keaton Brown, Kallie Rogers, and Emery Meares.

The swimmers who made it to state are Anneka Sedelmyer, Hana Chiroux, Emery Meares, Keaton Brown, Lillie Ratican, Emelia Lommel, Priya Frank, Peyton Baker, and Kallie Rogers.

Outside of the best times for every event, almost every swimmer on the team has created and defined fantastic personal bests. Anneka Sedelmyer, Class of 2024, and a team captain, reports that she “hit PRs in 5 events,” a significant (and surprisingly difficult) thing to do. And she’s not the only one, as almost every swimmer has hit PRs at least once over the season!

The team this year was significantly larger, too, from an official roster of 31 increasing to 40; though both these numbers include people that may not have competed or quit in the middle of the season.

The increase in size was very welcome, however, as Anneka adds that “with more people we could win more meets, but also it was just a lot of fun because there were so many new thoughts and perspectives on the team that we haven’t had in the past.” She added that the size made the team feel more welcoming, which Katie Cavender, Class of 2027, affirmed, saying “the girls on the swim team are your second family. Your family in the pool.”

    Katie’s favorite part of the season was the time she spent building the “relationships that [she] made with the other girls.” She went on to add that the team “has been more inclusive and kinder to me than anything else that I have done and joined through a school. I have struggled with making friends my entire life and this team made it so that I had the confidence to talk to the other girls on the team, especially our captains.”

    Anneka’s favorite part of the season was “the pasta party at Peyton Baker’s house because we got to eat killer food, hang out, chat, and let loose playing “Just Dance.” It was just a super fun pasta party.” Pasta parties, where the girls meet the night before a meet to carbo-load, are often filled with fun-filled chatter and excitement.

    Peyton Rice, Class of 2024 and Solana Henao, Class of 2025, the divers for this season, also put in quite a bit of work, though unfortunately Peyton broke her foot near the end of the season and was unable to compete. When asked if she would change anything, Peyton decided on “the amount of girls wanting to try. It would be great to have a larger team … at Coronado.” Her favorite part of the season was “watching each other grow into stronger divers.” Though the team was small, they worked hard together!

Many of the graduating seniors plan on moving on to college teams as well, with Anneka “being recruited at a few colleges,” and adding that “even if I don’t swim competitively, I will still go out and swim for fun.” Peyton also plans to keep diving, specifically for “the club team at UNC Greeley, when I finish a year at Pikes Peak.” Best wishes to these two and the other swimmers that plan to follow suit!

     Anneka, Katie, and Peyton all gave some advice for new swimmers, divers, and team captains based on their experience.

From Anneka to the captains, “Go with the flow, people will have fun and figure stuff out on their own. … You just have to help people get where they want to go. It’s more about being there to comfort, support, and cheer on your teammates than anything else.” For other swimmers, she advised them to “just keep working hard. Swimming is really tough, but it is way more rewarding and fun!”

From Peyton to prospective divers, “try new things. Let yourself be your guide, not the board.”

From Katie, “if you are thinking of joining the team, just do it! It will be one of the best decisions you make.”

The Coronado Girl’s Swim and Dive team has exceeded many of the swimmers’ expectations, with everyone, even the new swimmers, making PRs and practicing hard every week. Keep cheering them on, Cougars, and congratulate the graduating seniors!

Coronado Swimmers competing at Leagues. They swam against Palmer, Sierra, and Widefield. (Savannah Lawrence)


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