Spirits were high and competition was fierce for the Prosper Eagles Swim and Dive teams first home meet in the new Prosper Independent School District Natatorium on Oct. 15. Prosper hosted Plano Senior High in the meet.

Superintendent Drew Watkins welcomed athletes, coaches and fans to celebrate the long-awaited natatorium, which will serve not only Prosper ISD students but the greater Prosper community as well. The varsity boys and girls teams started the meet off well in the Medley Relay with the girls capturing second and third place, and the boys taking first and third.

For Japanese exchange student Miku Yoshioka, this was her first meet competing for the Lady Eagles.

“I also swim in Japan, but there we swim every day, and I like having two days off here,” Yoshioka said. “The team helped me to make new friends quickly, and at meets I’ve even been able to meet swimmers from Japan, China and Korea that go to different schools. That’s been really nice.”

Yoshioka, who considers herself a sprinter, is a great addition to the Prosper High Varsity team.

Sabrina Giachini and Abby Griffith dominated the 200 Free, taking first and second respectively. The boys followed suit, with Mithuun Ramesh and Sam Taylor finishing first and second. In the 200 IM, Maddie Lesko, who finished second, and Jocelyn Hayes, who finished third, both gave strong efforts, while Justice Hunt took second place for the boys and Lane White followed up with a second place finish in the 50 Free.

Prosper divers continued to improve, and Haley Fein — who shared that she loves the new natatorium and being able to practice so close to school — led the team to capture first, while teammates Kalee Morgan, Emily Rothacker and Shaelyn Haiman took second, third and fourth behind her. Ryan Dimmick took second for the boys.

“We love the excitement and adrenaline rush that comes with competition,” Haiman said about the dive meets.

The team energy in the natatorium was intense, and throughout the meet, the Eagles showed their strength and talent.

“When your teammates are around the pool yelling and cheering you on, you feel the excitement and can go faster,” freshman Bethany Sitz said.

After the meet, coach Sarah Milne and coach Sierra Marchand noted that it was a great success.

“We love how well the home opener went,” Milne said. “It felt like we’d been hosting meets for years. The stands were full and fan support was wonderful. Coach Marchand and I are so thankful for all the parents and students that volunteered their time to make the meet a huge success.”

Indeed, for the Eagle Swim and Dive teams, competing for just the second year at the 6A level, their talent is often on display. But swimming for PHS is about more than just talent. Similar to sports such as Cross Country and Track and Field, athletes are competing both as individuals and as a team. They spend hours in the water each week, swimming thousands of yards, and celebrate shaving even hundredths of a second off their times or landing a new dive.

“The friendships I’ve made are probably the best part of my swim team experience,” senior Katie Kieffer said. “And this year I get to swim with my younger brother, Carson. It’s really special for my family to have this year where we are competing and cheering together.”

Senior Brendan Allen, who is also in his fourth season with the team just like Kieffer, noted that the team really comes together and works hard.

“I’ve been able to add the 100 Fly to my races, which is one of the tougher events at meets,” Allen said.

In fact, each personal best time is cause for celebration. Competing on relays combines talent with a focus on what swimmers can accomplish together. And perhaps what fans notice first about this team is the sense of camaraderie present on the deck.

“The team chemistry is really special; we all care about each other,” junior Mondo Pittman said. “It is one of the things I like most.”

This sense of community helps keep swimmers motivated throughout the long season. PHS Swim and Dive teams started competing in September with sights set on the District, Regional and State Meets which take place in January and February. Dual meets provide the chance for swimmers to swim different events and for coaches to try out different relay combinations, all with the intent of growth and putting together the fastest team possible.

Prosper’s next home meet in the new natatorium will be Dec. 5 against McKinney Boyd.

1st place finishes:

Men’s 200 Medley Relay

JV Men’s 200 Medley Relay

Men’s 400 Free Relay

Sabrina Giachini: 200 Free

Mithuun Ramesh: 200 Free, 500 Free

Haley Fein: 1 meter diving

Ethan Hogan: 100 Back

2nd place finishes:

Women’s 200 Medley Relay

JV Men’s 200 Medley Relay

Men’s 200 Free Relay

Women’s 400 Free Relay

Men’s 400 Free Relay

Abby Griffith: 200 Free

Sam Taylor: 200 Free

Maddie Lesko: 200 IM, 100 Fly Justice Hunt: 200 IM

Lane White: 50 Free, 100 Free

Kalee Morgan: 1 meter diving

Ethan Hogan: 100 Fly

Sabrina Giachini: 100 Free

Bethany Sitz: 100 Back

Jocelyn Hayes: 100 Breast

Saxon Boring: 100 Breast

3rd place finishes:

Men’s 200 Medley Relay

Jocelyn Hayes: 200 IM

Emily Rothacker: 1 meter diving

Ryan Dimmick: 1 meter diving

Bethany Sitz: 100 Fly

Sam Taylor: 100 Fly

Abby Griffith: 500 Free

Women’s 200 Free Relay

Kadence Griffin: 100 Back

Justice Hunt: 100 Breast

Women’s 400 Free Relay