Bears dominate in the pool and on the court

By Josey Beavers / Copy Editor 

Harpeth Hall athletics boasted impressive winter season showings thanks to the swimming, dive and basketball teams. 

SMILING SWIMMERS: Harpeth Hall Bearacudas pose at Centennial Sportsplex after winning a 25th consecutive championship on Jan. 30. The team placed forth overall at the TISCA State Meet later in the season. Photo courtesy of junior Karina Shah.

Head Swim Coach Polly Linden continued the Bearacuda’s dominant legacy by leading the team to its 25th consecutive regional victory despite a challenging previous season. 

Due to COVID restrictions, the 2020-2021 season shifted from the typical Oct. to Feb. timeline to spanning from Jan. to April. These guidelines also hampered team bonding opportunities; however, the 2021-2022 season went back to normal.

“I was just excited to get the team back and kind of have some normalcy,” Coach Linden said.

 With a rigorous lifting, practice and competition schedule, the Bearacudas kept themselves in great shape to maintain their spot at the top. They stayed motivated throughout the long season through support from teammates, peers, teachers, coaches and alumnae. 

“I’ve never seen that type of spirit anywhere else except at a swim meet,” sophomore Annie Lea Choate said. 

The swimmers surpassed their own expectations for the season when they comprised the largest team at the TISCA State Meet. The Bearacudas outnumbered their competitors and placed fourth overall. 

“I was reminded pleasantly that Harpeth Hall swimmers and divers always rise to the occasion,” Coach Linden said.

BASKETBALL BEARS: Harpeth Hall’s varsity basketball team shows off the new athletics bear logo before a home game on Nov. 30. Photo courtesy of junior Annie Linley.

Continuing the trend of athletic success, Coach Amy Josephson championed a new era of Harpeth Hall basketball in her first year as Head Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director. 

With a 15-14 regular-season record and an average of 47 points per game, the basketball team drastically improved from the 2020-2021 season this year. Four players, junior Anna Echols, sophomore Taylor McCall, sophomore Charlotte Myers and freshman Ava Krumwiede, averaged above 8 points a game. 

A mantra instilled into the team this season was to get 1% percent better every day. “We all had the same drive and motivation to do what we needed to do, what was best for the team,” Coach Josephson said. 

With improved bonding experiences, like traveling to Gulf Shores, Alabama over Winter Break, the team forged a closer connection than in past seasons. “What I’m most proud of is how confident you guys became not only in yourselves but in each other,” Coach Josephson said.

She is excited about what the future of the revamped basketball program holds. She hopes next year the team will maintain a winning record despite having a tougher schedule and qualify for the state tournament. 

“We will continue to grow this program and get better because the kids see our vision and share it with us,” Coach Josephson said. “They want to be great.” 

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