Pocantico Hills Swim Team Splits Season

Comes away with win against local rival Tarry Crest.

The summer is a time known for getting into the pool and that's what the Pocantico Hills Swim and Dive team did this summer, competing in the Northern Westchester Swim Conference.

Pocantico Hills, a member of Division IV, finished its season with a 2-2 record in its meets within the division. The team started out losing at Twin Oaks 256-247 on July 10 but rallied to win two meets after that.

Those two victories came at Seven Bridges, 188-170, on July 15, and home against local rival Tarry Crest 239-217 July 17. Pocantico Hills then lost a non-division meet at Division III member Cortlandt 271-220 on July 22.

Pocantico Hills finished its regular season with a 271-249 loss on July 24 to visiting Mount Pleasant. Despite the loss, it was an impressive performance considering that Mount Pleasant won all four of its divisional meets.

Ginna Sabens and Carmen Groenewoud, the Pocantico Hills' Co-Head Coaches, were pleased with the effort and results the team produced this year.

"Our season went well," Sabens said. "Carmen and I were really happy with how everything turned out. We took some kids to counties for the first time in a while."

The meet that stood out for Pocantico Hills was its victory against Tarry Crest because of the close proximity between the two teams. The rivalry is a special one because of the fact that so many people on each side know each other.

 "I personally know the coaches at Tarry Crest," Sabens said. "I grew up swimming with them. It's a fun rivalry. We are always in the same league. We both have really awkward pools. Our pool is 50 meters which is an Olympic-size pool and the Tarry Crest pool is like 33 yards or something. It was really fun. I like swimming against them because they are on the same playing field as us. A lot of our kids from their team are friends with kids from our team."

The team had some outstanding postseason performances as well. Emma Shapera, was the top diver in the 13-and-under girls Division IV meet totaling 71.35 points.

Pocantico Hills also sent some of its members to the county meet. Two swimmers that stood out were Ethan Wileil and Justin Chan, who were 18th and 21st respectively in the 10-and-under 50 freestyle.

"I was very impressed with the way they performed at the counties," Sabens said. "There were 90 swimmers and they never swam against that many competitors before."

What made the summer extra fun for Sabens is that she got to share coaching duties with Groenewoud. Both swam with each other on the Badger Club team and Briarcliff High School.

In addition, both have competed for Division I college programs. Sabens is entering her senior year at Loyola University and Groenewoud is a recent Clemson University graduate.

"Carmen and I grew up together, we went to school together, we swam on the same high-school team and club-team in high school so we are really good friends," Sabens said. "We make a good team."


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