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The swim team’s season started on what, for a swim team, was just about the most off-putting note possible: the pool was closed.

Greenhills boys swimming competes as part of a co-op team with Whitmore Lake High School and Father Gabriel Richard, and the Whitmore Lake pool that the team uses was having pool problems. So first-year coach Katie Capelli snapped into action to find her club a new pool to ramp up for the season and, soon enough, the team was back in the water — with flying colors.

Now the Gryphons are swimming head-on into the most important part of their schedule, most recently taking home a one-sided 136-36 win over Cabrini. The team is preparing for the upcoming Michigan Interscholastic Coaches Association (MISCA) meet, to which it will send seven swimmers, including five first-time competitors.

A lot has changed since there was literally nowhere to swim.

“We honestly started out the season with a little bit of chaos,” Capelli said. “But as soon as we found a pool, we just hit the ground running, and everyone started practicing and working as hard as they could.”

Against Cabrini, the team reached a pair of milestones. The boys medley relay qualified for the MISCA meet by two seconds, after missing the cut by .01 seconds the meet before, and Ethan Hong made the MISCA cut in the 200 meter Individual Medley.

“We’ve gotten the MISCA cut in all three relays, which the team has not done in a while,” Capelli said. “So that’s pretty impressive from all those boys on that.”

When Capelli entered her first season, the team had only one captain, senior Jibreel Rehman (the Gryphons have since named two others). Observing her swimmers, Capelli quickly realized how important Rehman was to the rest of the team.

“I could not imagine starting the season without him,” she said. “He has been a phenomenal leader. He’s a role model for all the other athletes. He’s really communicative with me and all the other swimmers, and he leads by example. He is the best captain I could have imagined.”

The team is now looking ahead to the MISCA meet and beyond, hoping to continue on to the State meet. For Capelli, it’s just the next step in an exciting Greenhills debut, from early pool trouble to relays dramatically hitting their qualifying times.

“I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but it’s been really, really fun,” she said. “All the kids are really great to work with and work really hard in practice — that’s something that, as a coach, you can’t teach. You just have to hope they come in willing to work. That’s really been the most fun thing, is to see how much they’ve improved because of all their hard work. And it’s paying off for them.”

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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