The Aqua Panthers Are Back

The winter season is usually filled with trips to Perfect North, spending quality time with the family and opening presents. However, the Aqua Panthers will be spending their time in chlorine infested water. The Elder Swimming and Diving teams are back and ready to build off a good season a year ago. The captains this year are seniors Keith Gaskin, Scott Maurer and junior Josh Patty. With these guys leading the team, Elder swimming is looking to have a great year. “We have a lot of first time swimmers this year,” says Gaskin. “But our swimmers that returned look really strong. We will still do well this year because we work the hardest.” “The goal for the team is to have all the swimmers reach their full potential, as swimmers and individuals,” said Maurer. “As a captain and a senior I want to see the guys on the team push each other to be the best they can; which in turn, can make the team better.” “I was pretty excited,” says Gaskin when he found out he was a captain. “I knew that my commitment over the past year and a half had paid off.” Now, swimming and diving isn’t a popular sport, but it does take a serious amount of commitment. “It is very important to go that extra mile,” says Gaskin. “Swimming gives me great discipline and that’s what I enjoy the most,” says Maurer. “When I am trying to do something that I may think is difficult, I just tell myself that I have had swim practices that were harder and it seems to make everything easier. However, my second favorite part of swimming is having a purple Speedo with a panther on the butt.” Co-captain Gaskin would agree. “Swimming has taught me to always work hard, no matter how bad you feel. It’s given me more dedication and perseverance.” Leading the diving team this year is junior Mitch Godar. Godar had a great season last year, finishing the season with a 16 th place finish in state as a sophomore. “My goals for this year are to be top ten in state and break the Chad Thorton’s school record of 408 points for one dive,” says Godar. “This year I am definitely more confident. Last year I was recovering from chest surgery but I am coming into the season healthy this year.” The scoring system for diving is very complex. There are five judges who give scores. The highest and the lowest scores are dropped. The three middle scores are then added together, then multiplied by the difficulty of the dive to calculate the total score. “We have four divers this year, which is the most we have had in a while,” Godar continued. “We have Kevin Biggs who is a junior and this is his first year doing it. We have sophomore Jerry Porter and freshman Bryce Wauligman, too. “ The Elder Swim and Diving team have big meets coming up against St.X on January 19th and Oak Hills on January 26th. If you have never been to a swim meet, these two meets are ones you should definitely mark on your calendar.