NEWPORT — With a successful regular season behind them, the Newport High School swim team has sharpened their focus and training intensity as they prepare for the OSAA 4A Swimming District 1 championship meet at the Newport Aquatic Center on Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9.
Energized by a string of impressive showings, Head Coach Angie Sremba is anxious to see how the team races this weekend.
“We have put a lot of work into training this season and we will be tapering this week to prepare for this weekend,” Sremba remarked. “As glad as I am about their progress and success during the regular season, I can’t wait to see how well they do. Many swimmers have the potential to qualify for State based on their performance at the district meet.”
Building off last year’s first-ever state title for the Cubs swimming program, the varsity boys set challenging goals for themselves at the start of this season. One is to keep the District 1 championship streak alive and to win their league for the eighth consecutive year. They call their tightly knit team “the brotherhood.”
The strong camaraderie has translated into a shared dedication, according to senior Lucas Ellingson-Cosenza, third-year team captain.
“The team has been working extremely hard in practices, much more so than in any of my previous three years,” he stated.
Junior Caden Shanks echoed this sentiment, saying, “the team has progressed much faster than in previous years.” Junior Luke Bachart, team captain, commented that compared to a year ago, “we are swimming a lot faster now.”
For the last two seasons in the 500 freestyle event, the boys swim team has swept the top four places at District 1 and sent all four swimmers to compete at the state championship meet — a streak that is at stake this weekend. This season’s “500 squad,” consisting of Ellingson-Cosenza, Bachart, Tristan Scarborough, and Kolby Spink, appears up to the challenge. It is rare to have
four State-qualifying swimmers for the event.
Senior Kai Daniels, boys team captain, stated, “The team made strong progress during the season and we usually swim our best times at districts and state, so I think we’ll have a good chance at those two meets.”
Girls look for District win in 500
While the Newport boys’ swim team is full of confidence, the girls’ team has struggled with illnesses. Can they overcome their bugs and maladies as the district finals loom?
“I am excited to see what this team can do, rested and healthy,” remarked Coach Angie Sremba. “Each season brings new trials, and this team has surpassed them and stands united and ready to compete this weekend.”
“Representing the team at Districts is a huge goal of mine, which means making finals,” said Kinner.
The 500 freestyle event is also loaded with depth for the girls’ team, so much so that Coach Sremba will have a tough decision to make in selecting swimmers for the event.
Going into the District 1 championship meet, Coach Sremba likes the chances for the