Greenhill’s swim season began on November 13 with 14 swimmers qualifying for the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (TISCA), an elite swim competition where Greenhill swimmers compete against all the 5A and 6A public schools, as well as competing against schools in the The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools in North Texas (TAPPS). Last year, just one team member, junior Erica Yang, qualified.
“I know that [last year] was a growing year for us. We had a lot of kids improve a lot and drop a lot of time and work really hard on improving themselves. They’re ready to start the season fast. The whole team is strong,” said swimming Head Coach Patti Monzingo.
In addition to last year’s group of strong swimmers, there are many new additions to the team that have a competitive swim background. Of the 31 swimmers on the team, only two girls and three boys are club swimmers. One new member, freshman MJ Ward, currently swims for the Dallas Mustangs, which is a nationally ranked club team. He has swum for Greenhill since seventh grade.
“This year, my goal is to get first in at least one event in SPC, and hopefully to go to state meet and get first while we’re there too,” said MJ.
The coaching staff is making an intentional effort to look at Greenhill’s Lower School for potential standout Upper School swimmers. They have started to teach first graders skills needed for competitive situations, such as learning how to do underwater streamline push offs and kick outs. They have also started teaching second grade students how to dive off the blocks in streamline position, which used to be taught starting in third grade.
“What we’re trying to do now is look at our first, second and third grade swimmers, recognize who is a good swimmer and where our talent is and then grow that talent from the bottom up, so by the time they get into Middle School it’s kind of a no-brainer,” Coach Monzingo said.
Erica Yang has been a part of the Greenhill swim program since she was in seventh grade, and has been a competitive swimmer since she was four-years-old. According to Coach Monzingo, Erica has been an asset to the high school team since her freshman year. Erica, a 200 Freestyle and 200 Medley relay competitor alongside Alisha Nathani, Megan Benz, Hannah Fox, and Victoria Le, is anticipating a successful season for relays.
“It’s going to be so much fun. There are a bunch of new club swimmers [and] we’re going to have really good relays,” said Erica.
On November 29, the swim team had their first meet where they competed against Ursuline and Jesuit and lost. Their second meet took place on Wednesday, December 6, where they competed against Bishop Lynch and Parish and won. Their third meet took place on December 14.
Photo by Raag Venkat