Whippet swimmer Emely Rodriguez said following Senior Night that she and her teammates became a big family in their time together on the team. Head coach Gina Foucault said she was one of the several seniors on the team who did a great job providing leadership. (Tom Ganser photo)


By Troy Sparks


Whitewater girls swim coach Gina Foucault did something a little different to spice up the competitive nature for their dual meet against Rock Valley Conference foe Jefferson/Cambridge at home.

“We knew going in that they would be most likely ahead of us in those relays,” she said of the Oct. 10 meet. “We mixed up our relays and split them up between our A and B relays. We put together our fastest combos.”

The Whippets won the 200-yard medley relay and lost the 200 and 400 freestyle relay races. Both Whitewater and Jefferson swimmers each won five individual events. The Eagles scored 101 team points to beat the Whippets (69) by plenty.

Whitewater won the first relay of the meet. The team of Grace Fanshaw, Amber Krebs, Brianna Zimdars and Morgan Radaj swam to victory in 2 minutes, 6.61 seconds. Jefferson won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:46.95 and the 400 relay in 4:01.43.

“We tried to mix things up to gain points in other ways because you got to get the points somewhere,” Foucault said.

The Whippets won the next two races. Brianna Zimdars was in second place in the 200 free at the 150-yard mark. The sophomore caught Jefferson senior Parker Featherson in the last 50 yards and edged Featherson with a time of 2:06.99.

“I was trying to race my hardest in the last 50 and then swim past her in the last 25,” Brianna Zimdars said. “It felt good to catch (Featherson).”

Brianna Zimdars cracked the Whippets’ top 10 all-time swimmers in the 200 free with her new time. She passed Corey Snyder (2005) to take over the ninth position. She also won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:05.83.

Senior Grace Fanshaw won the 500 freestyle in 5:37.49, beating Jefferson sophomore Emma El-Beri by about 22 seconds (5:59.39). Fanshaw, known for her spunky and feisty personality, reflected on her time as a four-year varsity swimmer.

“I’ll miss everything,” Fanshaw said. “I might get a little bit teary-eyed. I’m going to miss everyone so much. I’ve seen people go and I’ve seen a lot of people come. I’m really going to miss welcoming new people and saying goodbye to old ones. It’s a little tough being one of the old ones.”

Other winners for Whitewater were Amber Krebs in the 200 individual medley at 2:33.02 and Ella Houwers in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.70.

The other three seniors on Senior Night were Caitlyn Zimdars, Alexa Duclos and Emely Rodriguez. Foucault said she will miss them all.

“It’s always a hard night,” she said. “The four seniors that we have obviously do a great job. They reach all the kids on the team. We had Grace, Emely, Caitlyn and Alexa. Alexa was a first-year senior. She did a great job stepping up and reaching out to kids. The others have been with us the whole way and can swim anything for us.”

Caitlyn Zimdars will leave behind her younger sister Brianna in the program and she was described by her teammates as “compassionate.”

“I think I’m going to miss the family environment and all the girls,” Caitlyn Zimdars said. “I’ve been with them for a couple of months. It’s definitely something that I’m going to miss and all the times that I had in swimming. I grew up in swimming.”

Rodriguez has a “lively” persona. She swam on the junior varsity team.

“For me, it’s that we became such a big family and a bond,” Rodriguez said. “Like, you come on the pool and you’re just like, ‘Oh dang, this is going to be a hard workout.’ But then you get on the deck and you just have so much fun and you don’t think about the workout.”

Duclos was the “tenacious” one on the team.

“I think I really enjoyed being with all the girls,” she said. “They made it like a family. I’m just going to overall miss all the friends that I made this year. They really helped accept me and made this a fun season.”



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