STRASBURG ― A combined six freshman should help boost the Rams swim teams this season.
“I’m very excited about the team,” Strasburg coach Ina Rae Crisman said. “Most everyone has come back, and they’re all very good swimmers. They all do a year-round team, so that helps with their experience.”
Crisman said that all of the freshmen swim for Valley Swim Team Phoenix, a club team based out of Strasburg.
The girls team will be led by sophomore Abigail Davis, who finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke and eighth in the 200 individual medley at the Class 2 State Championships last year.
Davis said her goal over the next three years is to win a state title individually.
“In the offseason, I’ve done a lot of running and strength training,” Davis said. “So hopefully this year my times are not only going to be back to where they were last year but better. And I’ve been working on my technique so I should be more efficient in the water, take less strokes, which will give me better strength and be faster.”
Two other top returners for the Rams are juniors Tessa Hockman and Abby Davis.
“Tessa is our sprinter,” Crisman said. “She’s going to be the one to do the 100 and the 50 freestyle and anchor those relay teams. And then (junior) Abby Davis, she can be versatile. I see her doing the backstroke and the medley and she can do that middle distance.”
Freshman Abbigail Kawatsky should have a big impact on the team according to Crisman. Kawatsky, who swims year-round with Valley Swim Team Phoenix, will likely be swimming in the 100 butterfly, 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle among other events for the Rams.
Kawatsky said she’s enjoyed the first few weeks of the preseason.
“The team is becoming closer,” she said. “It was kind of awkward in the beginning. But now we’re getting to know each other. I like it a lot.”
Crisman said she has high hopes for the Rams in the girls relay events this season as well.
The boys team, led by freshman Sebastian Keefe and sophomore Donovan Varley, should also be solid.
Keefe, who swims the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestroke, said it’s been nice having other freshmen on the team with him.
“It’s nice to not be the only one because then I would be pretty nervous if I was the only one,” Keefe said.
Varley, who swims the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, said he feels good about this year’s boys team.
“Things have been going great,” Varley said. “I see a lot of people improving really well. I feel like we’re going to have a really successful team this year.”
Strasburg opens its season Dec. 1 against Central and Clarke County at the Manassas Park Community Center.
Crisman said the team chemistry has been great so far this season.
“They’ve already started to bond and work together,” she said. “And sometimes that takes a little bit of time for kids to be able to work together. They’re already beginning to help each other and chat. Because a lot of times you’ll always see that one over in the corner that doesn’t have much to say and that’s not happening this year. So that’s nice.”