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Sports Spotlight: Boys & Girls Swim

This issue’s Sports Spotlight is on the Swim Team, a co-ed team that competes separately. For the girls, Coach Jim Pfeiffer nominated junior Julia Thomas, a second-year swimmer who has “some of the fastest times we have seen in years in breaststroke,” he said. She qualified last year in the sectional in the 100 breast and advanced to sectional finals in the B round again this year. Freshman Melissa Buchanan is the team’s points leader this year. She also met expectations of “getting through in this week’s sectionals in both the 500 free and the 100 fly,” he said.

For the boys, Coach Pfeiffer nominated senior Alex Rousselle, who is “constantly leading his lane in laps and effort in the pool” and “is more than happy to do whatever the team needs in order for us to be successful.” Junior Jake Miller “has really had a good time knocking time off of his events each and every meet,” Coach Pfeiffer said. 

Jacob Miller, junior, second season, House of Integrity, CYO Basketball, Youth Planning Team, altar server, and Track & Field manager

Events: 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, and usually two relays, switching among the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, and 400 freestyle relay. 

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Jake Miller: It all started with me injuring my back freshman year, and while looking for sports to play with a semi-injured back my sophomore year, I stumbled across swimming, which has both helped my back and I’ve had an amazing time doing it.

Q: What is your favorite event?
JM: I enjoy the 100 breaststroke because I learned it this year, and I have made a major improvement on it which has made it very enjoyable. 

Q: What do you like about being on the Swim Team?
JM: I like being on the Swim Team because it is very easy to get along with anyone and everyone both on the Providence teams and with other teams at meets. 

Q: What has been a highlight of the season?
JM: The highlight of my season was learning breaststroke. 

Q: What are you looking forward to in the remainder of the season? 
JM: I am looking forward to sectionals so I can see how I rank up to my last year’s times, as I think I have become a lot better since then. 

Q: What is your favorite class/subject
JM: My favorite subject is math because there is always a definite solution/answer, and there are certain steps to get said answer. 

Alex Rousselle, senior, fourth season, House of Justice, tech theatre (sound)

Events: 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay, and the 100 freestyle as well as an occasional 500 freestyle

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Alex Rousselle: I wanted to join the Swim Team because I had previously swum with various other teams and enjoyed the sport as well as the exercise to keep myself in shape.

Q: What is your favorite event?
AR: My favorite event is either the 400 freestyle relay or the 200 medley relay, because I get to have my fellow teammates on a team with myself, and we can race against other teams. 

Q: What do you like about being on the Swim Team?
AR: What I like most about the swim team is it’s a very open and accepting atmosphere no matter your level of skill. It really makes everyone feel welcome, and it’s an overall fun time.

Q: What has been a highlight of the season for you?
AR: The highlight of the season for me would have to have been Senior Night. Not only was senior night a blast with a lot of fun, but I also set my Personal Record in the 100 free event. 

Q: How are you making the most of this season despite its challenges?
AR: One way the Swim Team is making the most of the season, despite our challenges with COVID and a new public facility, is by playing harmless little jokes and pranks on each other throughout practice. Most every night, even after a grueling practice, people leave laughing and smiling having had a fun time. I think that this year especially with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting everything, having some laughs is one of the most important things. 

Q: What is your favorite class or subject?
AR: My favorite class at Providence this year is probably Technical Theatre. It’s an overall fun class, and we are always moving around building, painting, and fixing things. It really breaks up the sometimes monotonous routine that school can become, and it also teaches us valuable skills that everyone should know, such as woodworking.

Melissa Buchanan, freshman, first PHS season, House of Justice

Events: 200 medley relay (butterfly), 100 butterfly, 500 free, and 400 free relay (first leg)

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Melissa Buchanan: I have been swimming for almost eight years, and I got started when someone told my mom that she should try putting me on a swim team. 

Q: What is your favorite event?
MB:  Out of the events that I listed, my favorite is probably the 400 relay, because sprinting freestyle is fun, and I’m usually right alongside everyone else because I’m the first one. 

Q: What do you like about being on the Swim Team?
MB: I like riding the bus to and from the meets because we just get to sit there and talk, and it’s usually very funny. 

Q: How are you making the most of this season despite its challenges?
MB: I am making the most of this season by getting back into shape after my knee surgery. When I started this season, I hadn’t swum in a little more than a year, so it took me a bit to get back into the swing of things, especially butterfly.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity while at PHS?
MB: I haven’t had much time with my House, but I did enjoy the Mad Libs thing we did. We all came up with some really good words for it, and it was funny.

Q: What do you like about being a Pioneer?
MB: One thing I like about being a Pioneer is just how things work around the building in general. I like how you simply show up in the morning and sit around until the bell rings to go to class, and I like how we have plenty of time to go from class to class.

Julia Thomas, junior, second season, House of Justice, Softball, Drawing Club

Events: 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 400 freestyle relay

Question: How did you get started swimming?
Julia Thomas: I have been swimming competitively for two years, but I have grown up swimming every summer in my pool or in the ocean. I first got interested in swimming when my sister suggested that I should join the team since I had a passion for swimming.

Q: What is your favorite event?
JT: My favorite event is the 100 breaststroke because it is the easiest stroke for me, and it is exciting when I beat my time.

Q: What do you like about being on the Swim Team?
JT: I like that I can have fun with my friends while also being competitive in my swim events.

Q: What has been a highlight of the season for you?
JT: The highlight of my season has been when Catherine (Pfeiffer) and I took the GoPro from Coach Jim at practice and started making Tic Toks under the water.

Q: What is your favorite class or subject?
JT: My favorite class is art because it is very calming and allows me to be creative.

Q: What do you like about being a Pioneer?
JT: I like being a Pioneer because of all the opportunities I have and all my friends I’ve had and met throughout the years.

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