The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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Swimming to New Heights: A Record-Breaking Season


When most Poly students think of sports that their school is known for, Girls’ Varsity Swimming is likely not the first team that comes to mind. However, Girls’ Varsity Swim had an increased roster and record-breaking season this year. The team secured fourth place at Ivy Finals and had two swimmers beat Poly records at NYSAIS.The girls made it clear to the Poly community that they were just getting started. 

Breaststroker and two year team member, Sophomore Daisy Lu  explained that “this year there were a lot more people…[which] boosted the team spirit.” Lu found herself able to assume a leadership role of sorts for newcomers, having been on the team already. Lu described herself as “more comfortable this year,” which put her in a position to help her new teammates get acclimated and develop relationships with one another. Lu reminisced about some of her favorite memories from this year’s swim season. From cheering on her fellow swimmers at meets, to the long and humorous bus rides, and, her personal favorite, having an impromptu pizza party with some of her teammates during Ivy Finals. Lu loved the larger team because it not only increased “their chance of winning” but also created “more energy” within the team and made meets and practices “more fun.” 

This year, freshmen newcomers such as Massoume Khonsari and Penny Kessler lengthened the teams roster’. Both swimmers are new to Poly, and the swim team supplied them with an avenue to make some of their first friends and Poly memories. Khonsari shared that she “decided to join the swim team because she has previous experience swimming” as she is a water polo player outside of school. Being on the swim team allowed Khonsari to “learn more about swimming…[and] meet more people.” Kessler added that she “felt very welcomed by the team” and loved the bonding between incoming freshmen and the more experienced upperclassmen. Kessler also shared that at every meet she looked forward to chanting the team cheers with her fellow swimmers. She felt it “brought everyone together, the boys and the girls.”

In addition to making memories and forming friendships with her teammates, Kessler also broke a Poly record! A feat also accomplished this season by Junior Tessa Weber. Kessler and Weber broke the Poly records in the 100-yard backstroke and the 500-yard freestyle, respectively. Kessler initially beat Poly’s best time for the 100-yard backstroke, a record that has been standing since 2006, at the Ivy Prep Finals. Kessler went on to beat her time and break the record again at NYSAIS. Even though she didn’t realize she broke the record, Kessler remembers being “very excited” when she eventually found out. Weber beat Poly’s record for the 500-yard freestyle, a time that has remained unbeaten since 2001. Weber placed fourth overall in the 500-yard freestyle at NYSAIS, and her impeccable performance helped her score some major points at the meet.

Senior and team Co-Captain Maia Steiner who’s been on Girls’ Varsity Swim since eighth grade, reflected on how the new swimmers and energy on the team this year made her final Poly season particularly memorable. Steiner explained how in years past, the swimmers on the team would be from an assortment of grades; however, this year, there were “a lot more freshmen,” which was something that Steiner appreciated. “That just [made] it really fun because the freshmen brought a lot of excitement and energy,” added Steiner.

Boys’ Varsity Swim also had an awesome season filled with hilarious Instagram captions (@polyprepswim), a successful trip to Lancaster for the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming Championship, and jam sessions to songs on bus rides to and from meets. The team also secured third place at this year’s Ivy Finals, and their team captain, Eyton Ng ’24, committed to Bates College!

Girls’ Varsity Swim wants the Poly community to know that they’re always looking for new swimmers to join the team. “If you join, you’re going to make so many new friends,…strong bonding [and] connections with your coaches, and have a lot of fun,” said Kessler. Lu also begs the Poly community to “please join the swim team next year.” If you’re feeling reluctant to join the team, don’t be. Lu explained, “Nobody cares if you get last place.” Having fun, doing your best, beating your personal bests, and making memories is really “the whole point of meets.” What should you do if you don’t know what Poly sports team to join? Kessler’s advice:, “Join the swim team.”

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About the Contributor
Brianna Sylvain
Brianna Sylvain, Arts Editor
After joining the Polygon in sixth grade Brianna Sylvain is excited to step into her new role as one of the Arts Editors of the Polygon. Brianna has been Middle School Editor for the last two years and during that time has written about food changes at Poly, new staff, and the Middle School’s sneaker preferences. When she isn’t writing away or going to Polygon meetings, Brianna also swims competitively, plays with Poly’s string ensemble, and dances. Outside of school, you can find Brianna listening to music or a  podcast, watching Suits, or spending time with family. 

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