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Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Free. Who Do We Think Is Groovy? Franklin High School Swim Team

On January 16th, 2020, twenty high school seniors on the swim team swam against Rutgers Preparatory School. After the races finished, a ceremony was held for the seniors on the pool deck.

Franklin men’s swim team honored eleven senior members: George Wade, Christopher Gillooly, Collin Jones, Vaishnav Srivaths, Rafael Ferreira, Jason Sanghvi, Kevin Lam, James Chiriboga, Alex Milgram, Collin Chung, John Guirguis, while the Franklin women’s swim team honored nine senior members: Olivia Jara, Saheli Desai, Ihunaya Eluwa, Ashley Lamb, Nicole Origenes, Brianna Rao, Lelia Gonazales, Kim Lao Lim and Ingrid Hoyos.

Every year Coach Scott Burd tells his swimmers that your team will become your family- something that everyone on the team can attest to; this constant support has driven these student athletes to continue competing.

Captain Rafael Ferreira says he will “miss practicing everyday with lifelong friends of mine, and building camaraderie. The rigor of swimming can get overwhelming at times. But having your friends there to push you, makes the grind a lot less “grindy.” He says his “favorite swim memory was winning first place in my heat at the Skyland conference in the 200 yard Freestyle… The biggest advice I can give to underclassmen swimmers is to always push yourself both physically and mentally. Swimming is a competitive sport, and you’ll race against some strong opponents. But the hardest opponent you’ll ever face is yourself.”

As their season comes to a close, many seniors have reflected on their swim experience.

Captain Ihunaya Eluwa joined the FHS swim team her freshman year of high school. She says “I used to be afraid to talk to (Coach Burd), but not anymore. Burd may be very intimidating at first but he grows on you. He has become one of the most significant people in shaping my high school career.”

There is a lot of nostalgia floating on the College Ave Pool Deck. Captain Nicole Origenes says her favorite memory “has to be when I found out that I swam the 500 for the meet against Belvidere last year. I was planning excuses in my head on how to not swim it and I was so nervous and [Coach] Tooles told me to suck it up. Eventually, it became one of my favorite events. It’s funny looking back on how I reacted back then.”

As she gives advice to future upperclassmen, she says, “it is okay to be nervous. I am always nervous but everyone on the swim team is nice and they’re really good people to help ease down the nerves… AND DO NOT WEAR YOUR MEET SUIT TO PRACTICE!”

Some of our FHS Swimmers plan to swim in college as well; Captain George Wade will be attending Arcadia University, he says it is, “a D3 school with a really great swim program that I will be a part of, as well as an amazing Physical Therapy program that is ranked 7th in the country.”

Congratulations to all the seniors in their final FHS Swim Season, and the Warrior Newspaper wishes you all the best of luck in College!

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