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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Behind the Goggles: Insights from THS’s Swim Captains

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Over the summer, Ellis Tritter (’24), Andrew Lee (’24), and Caleb Lee (’24) became Tenafly High School’s new swim team captains, but what do we really know about them? Many people just do high school swim as a hobby, but what do these selective swimmers think about swimming? How did they manage to rise to the top? What advice do they have for the upcoming freshman joining the swim team? 

 

Ellis Tritter:

Whether it is swimming or any other sport, everyone starts somewhere in their love for swimming, so why did Tritter choose swimming over all other sports? “My parents thought being in a sport would be beneficial,” Tritter (’24) said. “It didn’t matter what sport I tried—figure skating, skiing, soccer, baseball, and a couple of other sports—but swimming was my favorite, so I stuck to it.” Tritter believes that swimming is essential to maintaining good health and helps people stay in shape. His older brother, Hudson Tritter (’21), was also a swim team captain for Tenafly. Both found the sport to help them with their health and gain more strength. Swimming, unlike most other sports, is a full-body exercise in which each part of the body is targeted by a different stroke of freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.

Elis Tritter with his friends after winning the state sectional trophy. From left to right on top are Max Ulis (’25), Ellis Tritter (’24), Eliot Na (’25), Jason Park (’24), David Shin (’25), and Hayoung Choe (’23).

“My favorite event to swim for the Tenafly swim team is the 200 IM (Individual Medley),” Tritter said. “It is a relatively quick event and you also get to swim all the strokes.” The 200 IM is an event where you must swim all four strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Tritter’s skill in being able to compete by combining all these strokes is what makes his swimming so impressive. He hopes to improve on shortening the time for his strokes and focuses on getting faster for future competitions. He also sees himself as a great mentor to other swimmers. “I feel I will be a good swim team captain because I feel I’m approachable,” Tritter said. “I don’t see myself being the hardest person to talk to, whether it’s (about) just a stroke or friendly conversation.” This is important because communication is necessary in any sport, not only swimming. Having someone as friendly as Ellis Tritter will be able to help the team form a closer relationship with one another. He is already planning on meeting up with other high school teams. “Me and the other captains plan to have meet-ups, and meals outside of our regular swim practices and swim meets,” Tritter said. This will hopefully prepare the swim team for a new season. 

 

Andrew Lee:

“As a child, I had an innate affinity for the water. I loved the feeling of immersing myself in it, whether it be wading in the pool, playing in the ocean, or even jumping into large fountains in the city,” Andrew Lee (’24) said. “To quench my desire for the water, my parents signed me up for swimming lessons, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect match.” Lee has been dedicated to this sport since he was in elementary school and fell in love with it. Not only is he the fastest swimmer on Tenafly, but he expresses his love for swimming by constantly studying the opposing team before a match. The guidance and support from his parents helped him grow into a great swimmer. He thinks he was meant to become a swimmer. 

Andrew Lee celebrating after getting first in his event.

“My favorite event to swim … is the 200 Medley Relay,” Lee said. “Tenafly has a long-standing tradition of dominance in this event, and as captain this year, I hope to continue our Medley Relay successes.” His explosive speed in the butterfly helps him cut through the water like butter. Every time he swims this event, he overpowers his opponents, leaving them with only bubbles for them to see. Not only is he an excellent swimmer, but he also carries the traits to be an exceptional captain. “As someone who has been a part of the Tenafly High School Swim Team for four consecutive years, I have experienced the swim team dynamic from various perspectives,” Andrew Lee said. “As this year’s captain, I hope to help all swimmers, whether new to the team or long-time members like me, better integrate and feel welcomed within our team.” The awkwardness that he felt during his freshman year when he joined the team has pushed him to think about ways to make people more comfortable joining the swim team. His experience in being on the team for a long time has helped him realize that team spirit is the most important part of a swim team. However, he doesn’t only hope to help them in swimming, but also in building their confidence. “I hope that my efforts to integrate swimmers into the team better will result in an environment where all swimmers can flourish as both athletes and as people,” Lee said. Sports in general helps people find valuable skills and Andrew Lee hopes he can help others in finding those skills. 

 

Caleb Lee:

Caleb Lee (’24) is a swimmer who shows that hard work always pays off. “I started swimming because I always liked going into the water at beaches,” Lee said. “I figured it would be helpful if I learned how to swim.” His supportive parents helped him slowly get accustomed to the pool as he learned more about how to propel himself in the water more efficiently. From his freshman year to his senior year, he has sharpened his skills in his two favorite events: the 50 and 100 freestyle. This event requires the swimmer to pour all of their strength into each lap since it is so short. Lee is skilled in sprinting events, but it requires a lot of practice to be able to create that great spurt of energy.

Caleb Lee starting out strong in his 100-yard butterfly.

 

“I think that I will be a great team captain because of my commitment and dedication to this team,” Lee said. He has always been a person to shows up to every practice and has a perfect attendance record for high school swimming. Even during his junior year, the busiest year for high school students, he showed up to all the practices and showed his determination even when the rules got harder. His perseverance is what led many people to admire him and the reason why he became a swim captain. When everyone gives up during a hard set, he continues without complaining and tries his best. He has a lot of new ideas planned for this upcoming season. “This year I want to make practices more fun and enjoyable for everyone as well as have more captain’s practices,” Lee said,  “so the team can get to know each other better.” He encourages others, just like both of the other captains, for people to get together because this is what makes any team stronger. 

 

Advice from the Captains:

So what advice do these exceptional swimmers have for people who just started the sport? “Don’t eat right before a swimming competition,” Caleb Lee said. This is important because overeating, especially greasy foods, can cause swimmers to become more tired and bloated while swimming. According to Arena Swim, carbohydrates, like pasta or bread can give you energy because it takes a long time to break down the energy. These foods give stamina and endurance throughout the race. Ellis Tritter also has advice to say about swimming. “Don’t stop,” Tritter said. “For anyone to be good at swimming they must build stamina and be able to swim in the pool for a long time, and then you will be able to see noticeable effects no matter how small.” Consistency is key in many sports and that is also true for swimming. It builds up over time and this skill can help with not only swimming but in your daily life. Swimming every day also helps you “feel” the water according to Andrew Lee. “To those who have just begun their swimming journey, my advice would be to learn to love the water,” Andrew Lee said. Just starting to look at swimming as an opportunity rather than just another practice can lead to loving the sport. This can propel swimmers to want to improve their best times. 

 

The four new captains of the Tenafly High School’s swim team, each bring his unique stories and dedication to the sport of swimming. It is evident that with leaders like them, the swim team is in capable hands, poised for success both in and out of the pool.

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About the Contributor
David Shin, Senior Staff Writer
David Shin ('25) is a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He is looking forward to covering stories of any genre that might pique the interest of students at Tenafly High School.