“They had a swim team out there, and I was always interested in swimming and thought it would be great to have one at home,” she said.
The sport is new to Johnson, who plays lacrosse and got into swimming to get into better shape. He’s one of a handful of males on the team.
“Some of us haven’t swum in a while or not at all, and those are the ones we really like to work with,” said Johnson, who took second in a freestyle event at Seekonk. “For our first meet, it was great to have each other there, pushing each other.”
During each event, teammates not in the pool stood at the end of the swimming lanes exhorting their friends on, as did Suzan at the side, waving her arm and shouting encouragement and directions.
“Cheering really boosts the team,” said Gillis. “Even if they can hear just a tiny bit of cheering, they’ll swim faster.”
She wants to attend the University of Michigan or University of Connecticut after high school, saying, “Both have great swim teams.”
The Old Rochester season runs through the end of January. But it could be extended.
“If we qualify, we go to state competition in February,” Suzan said. “We’ve already got one boy who’s qualified and a couple of girls are close in their events, and I know they’ll make it.”
Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at email@example.com.