Swim team prepares for upcoming season in new division

Graphic by Kaden Bagwell

By Kaden Bagwell – September 5, 2017

With a larger roster and a new swimsuit design, the swim team is preparing for competition in Division I this season.

“The new division will prove to be a challenge to some of them,” swim team sponsor Ardala Wigman said. “But a lot of them do have the potential to qualify [for state].”

This year has brought several changes for the team. Last year the team was classified in Division II. They also had only two swimmers competing on the roster, whereas this year they hope to have more than 10. They will also have a brand new team swimsuit design, featuring gator scales.

One of the two returning swimmers from last year is sophomore Addie Barnard. Last year, as a freshman, she qualified for state.

“I’m excited for state this year,” Barnard said. “It’s always the most exciting meet. Hopefully, we will have more people this year, and maybe enough for the relay.”

If the Gators can get enough swimmers for the relay race, they will automatically qualify for the state meet, but the new division brings new challenges for the Gators.

“The qualifying times are faster, so that may catch a few of them,” Wigman said. “But I’m sure the majority will be okay.”

As a returning swimmer, Barnard said she is confident in her own capability and that of her team.

“The faster competition will be a challenge for sure,” Barnard said. “But I think we are pretty well prepared for it.”

Although there are many changes this year for the team, Wigman will continue to be the sponsor.

This will be Wigman’s fourth season as the team’s sponsor, and although the swimmers look to her as a coach, Wigman said it is her job to do the paperwork and make sure the swimmers get to the meets.

“Swimming is a student-driven sport,” Wigman said. “It takes a lot of effort, time and dedication to be a successful swimmer.”