PHOTOS: Haven Swim and Dive celebrates final meet, senior night with high spirits despite loss

The meet was about taking a moment to appreciate swimming as each athlete did their best.


Evelynn Lin '25

After a fun, hyper chant, the entire swimming team creates splashes in excitement of their final meet against Conestoga and senior night on Feb. 2, 2023.

Evelynn Lin '25, Reporter

There was water splashing into the air as swimmers plunged into the clear, blue water in an intense race. Loud encouragement echoed off the walls as swimmers made surges from end to end in a close call toward victory. 

Haven’s last swim meet against Conestoga on Feb. 2 closed off with a bang in a fun, high-energy meet and senior night for girl and guy swimmers alike. 

Despite the loss to Conestoga, girls 108-63 and boys 93-75, and Conestoga copying the team’s pre-game chant, the Havens weren’t disheartened. 

There were bright, festive dinosaur tattoos and new Haven Swim & Dive shirts to celebrate. Psych boxes, hugs, and smiles were exchanged as everyone gathered in an arc to honor the many seniors and take pictures. 

“It started off really rocky with them stealing our cheer, but now I’m just happy to be here and happy to be with my team and to be celebrating senior night, our last hoorah!” said senior captain of the girls’ swim team, Kate Blackburn. 

The seniors also jumped off the diving board together to celebrate the night 

“It’s a lot of fun,” senior Gabe Thomas said. “It’s especially satisfying when you know that everyone’s rooting for you, too.” 

Going into the second half, the meet no longer meant winning or losing for the Haven swim teams. Rather, it became about taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of swim and improving themselves.

“I feel like we’re not aiming to win,” freshman Sylvie Bergstrom said “We’re aiming to do best times, we’re aiming to have the best last meet that we can possibly have… We’re looking at the times, we’re looking at the strokes and how far we have come in the season.” 

That last meet also meant getting to be together as a team one final time and supporting each other. 

“Everyone knows what everyone’s swimming for every meet at this point, so before every event, we were hyping each other and making sure we were all good,” senior Sean Gillespie said.  “I think just having each other’s back just motivates us, the whole team, to do really well.”

The end of the meet called for a celebratory and splashy chant in the pool and coaches jumping in one by one. 

“Well, I had to get my laps in for today, so I figured– I got to get it in some time,” head coach Mr. Bryan Ward AID.

To say the least, it was a night to remember. But it was also a final thank-you message from the seniors for an amazing season. 

“Thank you to all the moms, and to everyone– the officials, the coaches, the parents, who especially ran the meets, and everybody who just made this possible for us… We truly really appreciate everything,” senior captains Kate Blackburn, Georgia Gianopulos, and Ella Shifflett said. 

Upcoming next is the Central Athletic League Swmming Championships at the Ridley High School natatorium on Feb. 10 and 11. Qualified swimmers that pass this meet will be able to compete in the District Swimming Championships on Feb. 17 and 18. 

Qualified swimmers include: Sylvie Bergstrom, Kate Blackburn, Georgia Gianopulos, Mira Gold, Jo Kelly, Lila Martell, Abbey Schofield, Ella Shifflett, Lindsay Spinosa, Maya Putty, Cate Whitehead, Emma Wicentowski, Whitney Taylor, Lila Hill, Jasper Rose, Sean Gillespie, Harry Hyzer, Cole Mahoney, Tristan Barns, Gavin Shifflett, Will Reitmayer, Ben Oyre, Owen Brennan, Charlie Detweiler, Emilio Celebre, Jamison Soeiro, Brian Cheiffo, and Alex Kellner. 

Ward shared some advice for the student athletes who will carry the swim team into the future.

“Have fun; you’re going to make a lot of new friends. You’re going to really experience what it’s like to achieve for a common goal and see how much fun that is. And just really, you know, experience the community of the team and what that’s all about,” Ward said. 

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