GAHS swimmers emphasize friendships on seniors night

The Gettysburg Area High School swim team demonstrated its energy and commitment on Tuesday as they swam the final home meet of their season. The evening ended with two dramatic wins over Central Dauphin East, with the boys’ team winning 136-17 and the girls’ team winning 133-12.

But the focus of the evening was the graduating seniors, who have persevered through COVID-19 outbreaks, pool shutdowns, and shortened seasons, bouncing back and rising to every challenge.

The team spoke out during the evening on the importance of the social ties the class of 2023 developed while swimming. “What has defined this senior class is that many are here for their friends. They might have not done swimming just on their own, but because their friends are here. They’ve stayed and they’ve worked even harder and set goals to maybe make districts in relays and work for each other,” said Head Coach Amanda Turner.

Girls Team Captain, Junior Rebecca Reever, said the seniors “are all very energetic. You don’t get a sense of ‘senioritis’ from them. It always feels like they want to be here.” Sophomore Addison Dunlap said the senior swimmers “added a lot of energy and I know for me they have helped me improve and they’re all so encouraging and sweet.”

Dunlap said her favorite memory of the senior class was “when we were on the bus going home from one of our meets and all the boys were in the back of the bus singing Disney songs and the national anthem. It was really funny.”

“I think bus rides are definitely where the team connects the most, so that’s kind of where we all got to know each other even more than in practice,” said Reever

Both Reever and Dunlap said senior captain Hannah Green had served as a role model. “She is just so encouraging and kind and sweet all the time,” said Dunlap.

Turner concurred, saying “Hannah is the one that I count on as a coach to uplift her teammates. She’s just the one that makes everyone feel good and I’m going to miss her tremendously.”

First-year William Morris said that Christian Arentz had served as a role model for him on the team. “He does cross country with me and he’s going to be doing track with me in the spring. He’s a really good friend.”

Senior Captain Zach Tipton said being on a sports team allows individuals to improve upon specific leadership skills. “As a captain, I’ve developed different leadership skills to help interact with other people on my team, and how to cooperate with others,” he said.

Senior Carolyn Scheungrab said working as a group and working toward a goal are skills she will take with her after she graduates.

The seniors want to have fun and make it an atmosphere of ‘this is a friend group, let’s support each other’,” said Turner.

And the seniors will take more with them than swimming. Green’s first love is music. She sang the national anthem prior to the meet, plays in the school’s pit orchestra, and plans to pursue music education in college. Tipton plans to major in pre-medicine, biochemistry, or biology before going to medical school. Scheungrab will be attending the University of Pittsburgh in the fall and will major in psychology as she pursues a career in clinical psychology.

Green also has the potential to qualify for state championships in the distance freestyle, individual medley, or breaststroke events.

Featured image caption: Top (left-right): Will Kittelberger, Zach Turner (captain), Evan Kahn, London Mitchell, Sam Nelson (captain), Sean Bohner; Middle (left-right): Finn Clarke, Christian Arentz, Zach Tipton (captain), Connor Peterman; Bottom (left-right): Hannah Green (captain), Carolyn Scheungrab, Julia Canadas-Salan, Maya Ito

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Cate is a current senior Gettysburg College studying political science. She is from Kennebunk, Maine and has three Labrador retrievers, Maisy, Rosebud, and Sunflower Bee. In addition to her interest in writing and journalism Cate loves to travel, cook, watch movies, and listen to music.

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