Diving in: Trio of seniors leads swim team

Lucy Raleigh

Individual lanes, personal best times, different goals for each swimmer in the pool, yet despite all of that swimming is a team sport meant to create an environment of support and comradery.

And within a team setting it’s important for a leader to step up and lead by example, and the captains of the swim team do just that. With three seniors as captains, Bethany Peterson, Marco Gutierrez, and Addison Ayers have no shortage of responsibilities, hard work, and fun.

“The captains of our swim team do a great job of leading this team not just by their words but more so by their actions,” swim coach Sarah Milne said. “As a leader you have to really lead the team by setting an example and not just telling someone what to do.”

The three captains work together to ensure personal and team success by leading through example.

“They’ve all really stepped up as far as making sure people are [at the pool] and doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Milne said. “They make sure they encourage their teammates and by doing this I’ve also seen improvement in their times and work ethic.”

Being a team captain isn’t always easy, and can come with it’s own trials and tribulations as balancing schedules can prove difficult.

“It’s hard to fulfill all the responsibilities I have because I’m expected to be [at practice] and put in a lot of effort every day,“ Bethany said. “So I have to sacrifice other activities that I want to do in the mornings sometimes or go to multiple things in one morning.”

While being a captain on the swim team can sometimes be difficult, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks.

“I get to be a mom to all the swimming girls and I get to take care of them and encourage them and watch them grow and that’s really fun,” Bethany said. “Swimming has also helped me become more of a leader by requiring me to speak in front of people and learn how to encourage fellow teammates and build people up.”

While performing their everyday tasks as team captains, they’re pushed to give it their all in practices, as well as at swim meets.

“Having the responsibility of looking out for my teammates and caring for them and helping them do well is the best part of being a captain,” Marco said. “There’s definitely accountability that has to happen that if I expect my teammates to do well, I have to give a hundred percent in practice. I really try to lead by example and that causes me to be at my very best every time I get into the pool to practice.”

The swim team provides a welcoming and close-knit community for team members, and provides an opportunity to form lasting friendships.

“Out of all the other sports teams I’ve been on, I’ve never been as close as I’ve been to the people on the swim team,” Bethany said. “So I enjoy having those friends there for me all the time and seeing them a lot.”

Even though having three team captains can be problematic, the trio of friends has no problem sharing the title.

“I like having two other captains because for one, they’re my best friends,” Addison said. “And secondly, they are encouraging me. They help me and I help them.”

Sharing leadership responsibilities and is made easier because the three have been friends for a long time and view their positions as a way to spend more time with each other.

“I like being a part of a three captain team because they’re my best friends,” Bethany said. ”I get to plan things with them and just kind of hang out with them and that makes it fun.”

Although swimming is mostly an individual sport, each member pushes the other to do their best in and out of practice.

“The community that we have together is really fun,” Marco said. “We really care for each other, we have a lot of fun, and we push each other to be better swimmers and better people.”