Heidi Frank leads a veteran group of Springville-Griffith Institute swimmers
Frank began swimming when she was 5 years old, crediting her mother with her early start. Although she said she began swimming to “stay in shape and just have fun,” she said she began to take the sport more seriously last year, morphing into what her coach, Karen Reynolds, called “The Machine.”
While Frank has won nearly every event she has entered, she said that she will look for that same effort from her entire team, this year. “I expect us to work hard,” she said. “Each and every one of us should do every event 110 percent.”
Frank holds the school record in the 100-fly and was a leg in the record-breaking 200-free relay and 400-free relay, but the S-GI senior said that she is not satisfied yet with those records.
“I would like to break another school record this year, and every time I step into the pool, I look to break my own records,” she said.
Frank said that she is planning to join the United States Coast Guard to become a rescue swimmer, after graduation.
The Springville squad is made up of 30 girls. Of those members, 21 are returning from last year’s team that lost one meet during the regular season.
Leading the Lady Griffs will be captains Frank, Abby Fornes and Samantha Wach. All three girls qualified for sectionals last season. Also returning from last year is diver Rachel Jeffers, who finished in third place in sectionals last year.
Reynolds said that she is confident that this group of swimmers can put it all together. “This team is very hard-working and dedicated to swimming and diving,” she said. “With the loss of [S-GI graduate] Elise Grzeskiewicz, I have some shifting around to do in the line-up, but I am confident that my line-up will be a strong force of swimmers. Many girls have trained year-round, in order to be ready for this season and have really improved their times. I am looking forward to see girls drop their times and reach their goals, this season.”
The girls compete in a division with teams such as East Aurora and Eden. Eden gave the team their only regular season loss, last season.
Fornes said that she is excited for the season. “I just want each swimmer to give it their best effort and just have fun,” she said. “Also, we’re hoping to be beat our rival Eden.”
The Lady Griffs will head to Tonawanda this Saturday, Sept. 15 for relays.