It’s official! Batavia can finally announce that we have a swim team, co-opting with the West Chicago Wildcats.
The news was finalized in May and the two-a –day practices started up in early August.
“I think it’s good,” head coach Nick Perry said. “I wouldn’t have started it if I didn’t think it would have worked. I think it offers an opportunity to Batavia swimmers that wasn’t there before.”
The co-op team consists of 23 girls in total; five from Batavia and 18 from West Chicago. Both schools are in the Upstate Eight River Division and compete against schools like Bartlett, St. Charles North, and South Elgin. The practices and home meets are held at the West Chicago High School. The pool consists of six lanes and two diving boards. But we do not currently have a diving team.
“I like the co-op,” freshman Myanna Cook said. “It’s fun and we still feel like a family. High school there is so much more pressure. And I think it’s easier to race fast because your adrenaline kicks in. Whereas club you have a longer season. I like high school better. I like the coach. It’s more team unified, more team interaction.”
The co-op gives swimmers from Batavia a chance to have the high school team experience. Recently, after the co-op went through, other schools started talking about co-opting as well. Swimming is not a well-known sport. Although, it gets a lot of attention during the Olympics, that is because we have some of the best swimmers in the world.
Our most important meet is Sectionals. This is the only time we can qualify for the State Meet. Both meets will be held in November and will wrap up our season.
“Ooh sectionals,” Cook said. “I’m pumped. I’m pumped for Sectionals. I’ve improved so much already without being on taper. I’m excited to see how it goes when I’m actually on taper.”
Cook has had a very good season so far. Her best events are 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, which have been scoring major points for the team. She also swims on a club team, the Bullets. She’s been swimming since she was five. This is her first season of high school swimming.
“When I think of Sectionals I think of us winning,” freshman Natalie Nelson from West Chicago said. “I also think of how much work we’ve put in the last three months. How exciting and loud everyone will cheer.”
Nelson is also having a very good season. She has been swimming on the West Chicago Sharks club team since she was very young. Her best events, the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, have also been helping rack up points for the team.
“My hope is that we can get more swimmers from Batavia to join our program and continue to build a team that can contend at the state meet that can compete for a state title” Coach Perry said.