Thunder Dives into the New Year

Thunder Dives into the New Year

Do you think that the football team is the largest team on campus? Well, guess again… . Actually the two most popular sports at ODA are volleyball and swimming. That’s right … the swim team! This year, the swim team has 34 swimmers. Every grade is represented on the team.

The Varsity Swim Team had their first meet of the season this Tuesday at the North Shore pool in St. Pete. After worries of cancelation due to weather, nothing could stop the determination of the swim team. The team swept Keswick Christian School and Canterbury School. The girls won 9 of 11 and the boys won 8 of 11 events between the two meets.

On the girl’s side, the victory against Canterbury was a particularly special triumph, as the Thunder girls were conquered by Canterbury last year. With many new additions, the team has already progressed significantly from last year.

Sophomore Kate Patrice won both her individual events, the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, and helped her teammates take first in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Reece Whatmore, only in 6th grade, made her mark on the team with a win in the 500 yard freestyle and her contribution to the winning 400 relay.

Sophomore Chloe Militzer, new to ODA this year, stepped up to win her 100 yard backstroke and helped out the winning 200 yard medly relay.

Finally, Senior Captain, Joie Eckhard, took first in both of her individual events, the 200 individual medley, and the 100 yard butterfly, along with aiding the 200 and 400 freestyle relays in their wins.

“I’m really proud of the girls for starting the season so strong last night. We have an awesome team this year,” says Senior Jade Bond.

The boys were led to victory by crushing their first event, the 200 medley relay. Adding to the Whatmore legacy, Sarson Whatmore, 8th grade, won his 200 yard freestyle and his 100 yard backstroke, along with being a part of the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

Another 8th grader, Zach Szmania, broke his previous school record in the 200 yard individual medley with a 2:28.96 and then turned around to win his 100 breast stroke. Senior Captain, Nicholas Romano, took first in his 500 yard freestyle, and Sophomore, Laszlo Tengerdy, won his 50 and 100 freestyle events, along with the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

“It was amazing how well the younger kids stepped up last night,” says Senior Captain, Matt Leonard. The team has almost tripled their yardage at practices and taken over the record boards. Many of the middle schoolers are improving in practice and will be very successful in their coming years of swimming.

For the first meet of the season, the whole team was pretty happy with the results, including Coach Naylor and Coach Salmon.

“The first meet went even better than I expected. Everyone supported each other extremely well, and everyone made a difference,” says Coach Salmon.

Sixth grader, Reece Whatmore, who won the 500 yard freestyle race with a time of 6:08:37, said “every one was very nice and encouraged [her] to do [her] best!”

Coach Salmon has been the coach for four years and states “the swim team has made incredible strides since I began coaching four years ago. Going from a team who could barely fill one relay team to now, three relay teams.”

The entire boy’s team competed well, with each swimmer contributing points to the final total. This was the second year in a row that The Out-of-Door boys came away victorious against a strong Canterbury team.

This year’s senior captains, Matt Leonard, Nick Romano, Joie Eckhard and Bianca Tengerdy have set goals for the team and look forward to a successful season!


Wondering why there is a stick figure drawing instead of an actual picture? We didn’t have a good picture of fans, the image we wanted for this article. That is because our fan count amounts to none. For many years now, we have hoped for more fans, however the last time we had student fans was two seasons ago. The swim team is asking students to come out and support at their Tri-County Championship meet on October 11th.  The meet will be held at the Selby Aquatic Pool at the Potter Park YMCA.