Green Hope’s Swim Team Makes a Huge Splash

Men and Women Swimmers Owned the Pool in 2022


photo by The Talon

The Green Hope Swim Team breaks away from the pack. The men’s team has another championship season

Mason Barish and Davis Cuffe

With the swim team season ending February 10th, Green Hope finishes with another amazing season. After winning both conference and regional championships, Green Hope capped off their season with a men’s state championship, the fifth in five years. 

The men’s team, specifically, saw podium placements in the 200-yard medley relay, the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle, and the 400-yard freestyle relay. The relay team that won the 400-yard freestyle and set a state record consisted of Landon Lloyd, Colin Whelehan, Brian Farrell, and Michael Cotter. Landon Lloyd saw a down-to-the-wire finish in the 100-yard freestyle, snagging third place as well as eighth place in the championship final for the 200-yard freestyle. Colin Whelehan had an extremely impressive second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly and a third-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley. Overall, the men’s team had an extremely dominant presence across all relay events and in many of the individual swims.

While the men’s team had success, the women’s team also achieved great success in their season. Green Hope Junior Keelan Cotter took first place in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle, beating the second-place finisher by multiple seconds in each race. Freshman Mere Whelehan wasn’t far behind her in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing third and later taking first place in the 100-yard freestyle. The two also contributed in other events with Mere competing in the 200-yard medley relay placing second, along with the 400-yard freestyle alongside Keelan, where they earned third place. Mere and Keelan weren’t the only women that found success last Thursday, though. Senior Sam Allred finished fifth in the women’s backstroke and placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. With both Mere and Keelan being underclassmen and many other Green Hope women’s swimmers on the way up, this group is here to stay. Be sure to watch them next year when they look to yet again contend for a state championship. 

As for next year, Green Hope’s new coach this year, Nick Tipling, who is a former YOTA and YMCA swim coach, gave some information on what he liked about this season and how he plans to carry current habits into the 2022-2023 season. 

When asked about a specific aspect of the team that stuck out to him for his first year at Green Hope, he stated that he’s “been impressed with how humble and responsible our team has been.” He appreciates the swimmers’ punctuality and says “the discipline they show in their practice carries over into what they do every day.” Coach Tipling puts high emphasis on sportsmanship for his swimmers and holds it in high regard, especially because of Green Hope’s team status as a championship team.

As it is his first year coaching at Green Hope, one of the hardest things for him to acclimate to was “getting used to the fact that our team rarely meets all as one.” He says that it took “a second to acclimate to the busy schedules a lot of our swimmers have,” but that he “understands and respects” those schedules. Much of Green Hope’s swim team swims year-round for club teams that have overlapping or conflicting times with the school’s practice, hence them not being together.

Looking into next season, he wants to see more events outside of swim meets in

which the team can “come together and grow stronger as a unified team.” Those events include pasta parties that the team usually holds before highly anticipated meets or swim team lunches during school designed to outline meet strategies. In addition, he wants to “see more attendance at practice in the morning,” as he believes that “many of our swimmers would benefit from coming to more practices in the morning.” 

Most of all, he is “looking forward to not being new at this anymore.” He knows what to expect and according to him, “some of the roads that were tread for the first time this year will be smoother next season.” Tipling plans to return next year and hopes to see Green Hope stay as humble as they’ve been as they pursue a 6th straight state championship for the men’s team and a victory for the women’s team.

Garlan Mei, a junior on the team who swam on a relay in states and one of the swimmers who plans to help bring in that 6th ring, was open to questions about the season. He also gave a little insight into how he expects the men’s team to function next year with the loss of some senior swimmers.

Garlan recounted his favorite memory from the season to be “going to regionals on the bus. Even though the bus ride wasn’t that comfy, it was a lot of fun.”

After a successful 2022, his expectations for next season are tempered, as he believes that “we will have a hard time swimming our swims because Michael Cotter is no longer on the team along with other fast swimmers like Alec Nolet or John Prucha.”

As for his own performance, he stated, “This season has been okay for me. I wished I could’ve done a bit better because I definitely could’ve made states if I tried a bit harder in the 100 back.” Mei did drop time in many of his main events this season including the 100 free and 50 free. As stated before, Mei competed in states, representing Green Hope for the 200 freestyle relay. However, he also swam in both conference and regionals, placing 5th for the 100 free in the former.

He shouted out his teammate Colin Whelehan, saying that he did “amazing this season.” According to Mei, Whelehan “absolutely helped the team and organized relays,” and that “his back must be hurting from carrying us all the time.” Whelehan, another junior on the team, swam both the 100 fly-in states and the 200 IM. As Mei said, he played a large role in getting the team together for social events as well as putting team relays together based on how his teammates performed.

Meredith, a sophomore on the team, cited her favorite memory from the season being her experience at states and being able to connect with all of the swimmers on the other teams that she doesn’t usually see. Her goal for next season is to have fun with her teammates, holding an optimistic attitude in her performance going forward.

It is clear that while the Green Hope swim team is apprehensive about the loss of some of its senior swimmers, it is optimistic about next season being yet another successful one for the team.