Young Saints swim team gears up

Published 8:45 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy swim team returns to the pool with some youth mixed in with some decorated veterans.

NSA returns some accomplishes seniors on their team this year. However, they have also added more youth in eighth- and ninth-graders to compete on this year’s team. Coach Lauren Brooks will step into her third season with the team, and she’s gotten more comfortable each year with the way things are run.

Despite the team being young, Brooks has described her swimmers as teachable. Some of the younger swimmers are first-timers. She wants to coach up the fundamentals with the new swimmers to allow them an opportunity to come into their own.

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“I am looking forward to more individualization,” she said. “Since we have such a young team, and most of them being first-time swimmers, I have been working on more technique than yardage this season. I have a very teachable group, and they have had to work hard this past month to gear up for their very first meet this Friday.”

For the boys’ team, it starts with senior Nic Psimas. He has been an all-state swimmer the past couple of seasons, and Brooks is excited to see what he can do in his final season in the pool.

Braedon McCauley, who qualified for states in a relay last year as a first-time swimmer has a promising season ahead of him as a sprinter. Justice Walters has had a strong start to his season. Brooks is looking forward to seeing what he accomplishes as well.

Emma Johnston, Maddy Reynolds and Cami Stambaugh are year-round swimmers Brooks is excited to see perform on the girls’ side this season. Johnston and Stambaugh are a freshman and an eighth-grader, respectively.

The first meet is Friday afternoon for NSA, and they want to use that as a start to more growth of the team. Brooks says the goal, year in and year out, is to relay the mission by which NSA abides as a school.

“Our team goals are based on our school mission: engage, inspire and empower,” Brooks said. “Getting them excited about swimming is the first step. I have students ask me every day ‘why would you swim when it is cold outside?’ and I think the only answer is because they love it. The excitement and joy on our team is contagious, and once kids decided to try out, they can easily decide if they are going to love it or not.”