Starting competitive swimming when she was just five years old, Co-Captain Katherine Sweetser ’17 has been part of the Girls Swimming & Diving team since her Junior year, and Sweetser has stuck with the sport ever since.
“Every since I joined the team, Katherine has been warm and welcoming to everyone. She’s such a great role model, always cheering and laughing and smiling with us. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my captain,” said Amy Xia ’19.
Sweetser strives to motivate her swimmers to train and swim fast. She believes that if the team is having fun, they will be more motivated to work hard.
Sweetser said, “I like to be very encouraging. That’s my main priority. I make sure everyone is feeling okay, and I like to check in on everyone. I do what I can to make sure practice is fun while we still work hard. I think that’s the most important thing.”
“I make sure that fun is our main priority, because we know that on this team, when we’re having fun that’s when we do our best,” continued Sweetser.
One of Sweetser’s traits as a captain is her dependability. She rarely misses practice and continually creates a positive, encouraging atmosphere to the pool.
“Katherine is so welcoming towards everyone she meets and is always reliable. You can always count on her to keep a positive attitude even during the toughest sets,” said Kathleen Ty ’19.
“She’s like the mom of the team. She always makes sure everything is okay, makes sure everyone is drinking water, and she’s always the first person in the water. She also makes brownies for us after every meet,” said Sarah Choi ’18.
Sweetser also utilizes her own swimming techniques to teach other members on the team. This practice is supplemented by encouragement in and out of the pool.
Choi said, “[Katherine] also likes to lead by example. Often, teammates can improve by just watching her. She works hard, which in addition to her encouraging words motivate us really well.”
Jess Gearan ’18 said, “During practice, she always yells, ‘Last one fast one!’ at the very end of the set that we’re doing. It’s very motivational and pushes us through the last part of the set even when we’re exhausted.”
Outside of school, Sweetser competes for a USA Swimming club team.
“[Swimming at Andover is] much more fun than club swimming because of the overall atmosphere. Everything at Andover is so busy but we take a break in our day to swim and it makes all the difference in life here,” said Sweetser.
Sweetser hopes guide her team to further success in the upcoming dual meets against Hopkins Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy by riding the upward momentum that the team gained from their last several meets. She also hopes to bring the positive momentum of the regular season into their two championship meets — the New England Championships and the Eastern Championships.
Describing the team’s potential successes, Sweetser said, “So far we’ve had a really good upward momentum and I’m hoping we can maintain this. I’m foreseeing a lot of fast swims at Easterns and New Englands. Everyone comes to practice willing to work hard every day, so I know it’s going to pay off and I’m excited to see what we can do.”