Erin Rodriguez takes boys swim head coach position


Paul Racanelli ’21 swims freestyle during practice (Bonfiglio/LION).

Mia Bonfiglio, Reporter

After 24 years of coaching, Scott Walker retired, resulting in Erin Rodriguez being named new boys swim head coach. For the previous three years, the team placed in the top two at state and placed first twice. The team remains confident going into this year, Ben Lynch ‘19 said. Since 2015, Rodriguez coached on the side for LT and the team has faith she can handle the new position.

“I think all the swimmers are very driven and selfless,” Rodriguez said. “Coach Walker has done a really good job over his 24 years of instilling a culture of swimming for each other and that’s what drives them the most. They don’t worry about what they have to do for themselves, they worry about what they have to do for the team.”

The team has a lot of gaps to fill, Lynch said. Last year, four of the six scorers at state were seniors; Jeff Vitek ‘18, Henry Claesson ‘18, Spencer Walker ‘18 and Frank McCarter ‘18.

Swimmers will be working through in water drills through the week along with dryland training every Tuesday and Thursday to contribute to their water performance, Rodriguez said. The team’s first meet is today, Nov. 30, against Glenbrook North at home.

“The most important thing for us to focus on is just sticking together and swimming for each other,” Michael Walsh ‘19 said. “It’s a long, grueling season and you’ve got to be able to lean on your teammates countless times throughout the year.”

In anticipation of the upcoming season, the boys are trying to increase their strength and endurance through drills and pacework, setting high expectations after the loss of many essential swimmers, Rodriguez said.

“To have the best season we need to focus on mental toughness,” Lynch said. “If we remain mentally strong throughout the season, we will train well and undoubtedly swim well at the end of the season.”

The swimmers have also been patricipating in a training routine with their club teams during the offseason to prepare for the upcoming year, Walsh said.

The standards are set high for the team going into the season, Rodriguez said. The team’s main goals performance wise are to have many swimmers achieve personal bests throughout the season and to place in the top 10 at the state meet.

“It’ll definitely be a huge change from the years with Walker coaching us, but I’m really excited to get going with [Rodriguez],” Walsh said. “I think she’ll do a great job as our new coach.”