Just Keep Swimming: The 2015-2016 Swimming and Diving Season

Just+Keep+Swimming%3A+The+2015-2016+Swimming+and+Diving+Season

by Nathan Getz

Since 2012, the Oakdale men’s swim team has repeatedly outperformed expectations after a lasting undefeated record for three seasons. With three consecutive county championships under their belt and repeatedly performing well at both Regional and State championships, the future of Oakdale swimming looks promising.

Over the years, Oakdale Swimming has become a powerhouse in Frederick County Swimming. But with the glamour of being a 3-time county champion, a target is painted on their back by teams across the county. Yet, Coach Melissa Lapham is confident in both the men’s and women’s teams to maintain Oakdale’s “powerhouse” reputation.

Coach Lapham commented after the MPSSAA State Finals, “I’m really proud of how far we’ve come since my first year coaching. Everyone contributes to the team, whether they swim outside of school or not.”

As there is in any team or individual sport, the speed and intensity of practices begin to change as they enter the post-season, and swimming is no exception. Four days a week the team gets onto a school bus bound for their practice at Walkersville High School. When asked about how practices change during the transition from the regular season to the post-season Rylea Osterle, a current Junior at Oakdale explained that, “During the regular season practices focused more on conditioning. But once we start practicing for counties I personally focus on visualizing my races. It becomes more of a head game for me.”

Now that the season has come to a close after last Saturday’s State Championships, the off-season preparation has begun for both Coach Lapham and the returning swimmers. Whether they swim year-round or solely just for Oakdale, the wait for the first dive off the block ensues.