“If you win something and you haven’t put everything into it, you haven’t actually achieved anything at all,” said one gold medalist swimmer.
“When you’ve had to work hard for something and you’ve got the best you can out of yourself on that given day, that’s where you get satisfaction from,” Ian Thorpe said.
For all the swimmers of the Kaiserslautern Kingfish Swim Team, working hard is just what they do. And, it’s their hard work that has brought so much success for the 2011-2012 season.
Few teams have gone undefeated for an entire season and the Kaiserslautern Kingfish Swim Team can add their name to the prestigious few.
The Kingfish hold a perfect 13-0 record, eliminating every team in their path with an average margin of victory of 285 points. They also boast a phenomenal 56 swimmers with championship qualifying times ready to challenge the league’s best this February at the European Forces Swim League championship meet in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Jan. 8 and 14 marked two of the most exciting swim competitions of the year.
First, on Jan. 8 the Kingfish traveled to the Hallenbad Am Grossen Sand in Mainz-Mombach to compete in “The Battle in the Bubble.”
The competition would be the last long course meet of the season and the Kingfish did not disappoint. The Kingfish rallied behind team captains Conner Davis, 17, and Andy Cummin’s, 17, three first place finishes with support from Jessica Kafer, 18, Lexy Meints, 15, Peter Cummin, 15, Danielle Davis, 12, and Kathleen Nicholson, 8, ― all securing three first place finishes of their own.
The Kingfish won a first place team victory with 1,070 points followed by the Stuttgart Piranhas’ 1,026 points and at a close third, the host Wiesbaden Wahoos with 1,019 points.
The meet would showcase many outstanding individual bests with 40 swimmers from the Kingfish team finishing with a first place finish.
Jan. 14 took the Kingfish into Stuttgart where they battled their division rivals, the Stuttgart Piranhas.
The meet was a back and forth affair with the two teams battling for the win. Heading into event 37, the Kingfish held a narrow 389-364 lead on the host Piranhas. The 200 meter freestyle relays would be the deciding factor of the meet with each relay worth seven points.
The Piranhas needed all four relay victories to win the completion. With their backs against the wall both teams came out very motivated and ready to settle the score.
The noise in the pool was deafening. Both teams were screaming out their team chants. All of the swimmers were anxious to take their place in the winner’s column.
There were four mixed-age groups ready to compete: the 10 and under, the 11/12, 13/14, and the 15-19 year groups.
The saviors of the meet would be most surprising as the 10 and under group led by Anthony Cummin, 9, Jocelyn Choi, 9, Alexa Hutton, 10, and Julia Plescha, 10, would prove the resolve of the Kaiserslautern Kingfish.
It was their first place win that would secure the team victory and carry on the winning ways of the team.
The Kingfish added an exclamation point to the competition as Andy, Lexy, Rachel Plescha, 16, and Connor Davis, 17, would win the 15-19 year category. The final score was Kingfish 403, Stuttgart 378.
“That was the closest, most exciting meet of the season. Our kids really should be proud of the job they did,” said Coach Bob Clinton.
The Kingfish win over Stuttgart was also made possible by Macy Cabiness, 18, Andrew Hokaj, 14, Alexa Hutton, 10, Kathleen Nicholson, 8, and Ida Peterson’s, 8, three first place finishes in individual competition.