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Making a Splash – Presented by First Presbyterian Church

By Chris Cox

Jarrett Moore, Griffin Craig, Cara Moore, Om Ghonasgi and Calli Richards all have a couple of things in common: they are swimmers on the Bartlesville swim team and they all either attend, or work at, First Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville. VYPE Magazine caught up with some of the team members and found out what makes this group so gold.

“Faith and church play a big role, not just in swimming but in everything,” says Griffin. “One thing that helps is all the adults and other people at church really stay in involve in all of our activities. They are really supportive and encouraging. It means a lot.”

“The people in the church are really supportive,” says Cara. “It makes me feel better when I’m not feeling great, and they encourage me. I’m glad I’m a part of our church and that I have people to support me.”

Despite being different ages, the relationships that were already built between those swimmers at First Presbyterian really helped Calli and Cara, both freshmen this year, adjust to the rigors of high school swimming. Both girls said having the older guys on the team was helpful because they were kind and encouraging and knew how to pick them up if they were feeling down or had a bad swim. For the guy’s part, helping the girls out came naturally.

“We’ve known them for a really long time,” says Griffin, a sophomore. “It’s just been exciting to see them come on the high school team, do the best they can, and work really hard.”

For Om and Jarrett, who are both juniors, they were thrust into a leadership role this year since Bartlesville Swim does not have any seniors on the boy’s team.

“It’s been a real big transition, but I think our team is handling it well,” says Om. “We’ve been trying to help our freshmen understand the expectations and what they have to do. We’ve also helped them understand how fast these meets move and what they need to do in their breaks.”

For their parts in the pool, head coach Chad Englehart expects all of these swimmers to qualify for the state meet. Outside of the pool, Englehart says he’s very proud with how this group of swimmers have gelled.

“All five of these kids are characters, I’ll tell you that,” Englehart says with a chuckle. “They all seem to be laughing and enjoying themselves. They all seem to have found their place within the team and that comfort level they came in with has helped them. We really try to build a family within the team and all five of them really do a great job bringing people in and joining the fun.”

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