The Jesuit swimming team had a strong showing at the Highland Park meet last week, even defeating rival school Highland Park at the event. “It was pretty notable to beat Highland Park because they’ve got their strongest boys team in years and they’re our district opponents,” said head swimming coach Doug Moyse. “We’re gaining momentum at the right time.”
Jesuit swimmers won several events against both St. Mark’s and Highland Park, including Nolan Daniels ’15, who won the 50 free, Brendan Feehery ’16, who triumphed in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, and Jack Ayres ’17, who took first place in the 100 fly. Moyse also highlighted divers Lucas Raney ’18 and Luke Theivagt ’18 as important reasons for topping Highland Park at the meet.
When asked about what’s helping propel the swimming team forward this year, Coach Moyse spoke positively about new freshman members, the size of the team, and other new changes. This year, the swimming team has roughly thirty-three to thirty-four members. For reference, a large team would be about thirty members. “We’ve got a great group of freshman we hope to develop over the course of their time here at Jesuit,” Moyse said. “It offers a lot of promise for the future, because if we can keep this group of guys together, by the time they’re seniors, we should have a very strong senior class.”
“What’s a little bit different this year is our commitment to diving,” Moyse said, adding that it can sometimes present a challenge because of the additional lanes required. “We have three divers,” he said, a major difference from past years when the team didn’t necessarily even have any divers. “They’re all freshmen. It’s something we’re hoping to grow and create a critical mass of divers who support each other and continue to get better.”
Moyse believes that it’s important to take advantage of all the events, especially when the talent of the new divers is evident. “Two of them will be in the district meet and score. They’ll probably get first and second, or certainly within the top,” he said. “They’ll move to the regional meet, and that’s pretty cool.”
Another notable event helping the swimming team’s success is its new presence in the weight room. Historically the swimming team only trained in the weight room during the offseason, but Moyse felt it was important to “maintain our strength throughout the season.”
Despite a challenging and busy meet schedule, the swimming team has large goals ahead. “We want to be in the top two of the district meet,” Moyse said, as this district is less competitive than other districts. However, this region is one of the most difficult in the state, with competitors such as Allen, Southlake, the Plano schools, and Highland Park. “Our goal at the regional meet is to get past [previous record] times for everybody and give as many people an opportunity to get to the state meet as we can.”
Ultimately, however, the goal for the swimming team rests on the state meet: “Our goal as a team is to perform and be in the top 10 at the 6A state meet.” Moyes said that while he doesn’t expect to win the regional meet, he believes that at the state meet, the Rangers could best the teams that beat them earlier. “We have people who could potentially win events,” he said, highlighting the abilities of many on the team.
“It’s a great group of guys. We’re excited for the future. We have a lot of good things in place, access to good facilities, and a lot of support from the school,” he continued. “It’s a team effort.” The Jesuit swim team will compete in the district meet this Friday, January 30th.