Eighth Graders Help Swim Team Find Success

Weekly Update

Every few years or so, the Wilmington Friends athletic community recognizes young talent at our school and allows a student-athlete in 8th grade to be a part of an Upper School sports team. This year, Upper School swimming welcomed three 8th graders to the team: Ashley Chompre, Kate Saber, and Annabel Teague.

The idea of competing and interacting with older students seems intimidating and demanding to many, but these three athletes took a chance and challenged themselves, while doing something that they love. Kate Saber ‘20 explained her approach, “When I found out about possibly swimming up, I was really excited and it seemed like a really fun challenge. Once I found out that one of my other friends [Chompre] was thinking about it too, we decided to do it together.” Saber’s decision came with a lot of thought and what it came down to was the desire to connect what she is passionate about to her school. Ashley Chompre ‘20 agreed, “I decided to swim for the Upper School team because I thought it would be fun to contribute to the team and meet new people from my school. It was a tough decision because I knew that it would make me really busy, but in the end I knew that I really love swimming and I wanted to be apart of the Friends team and represent my school.” Both Saber and Chompre have been able to utilize this great opportunity and display their talents to the entire Friends community.

In addition to being able to publicize their strengths, the 8th graders have been able to forge a link between the older students of Friends to the younger students. Chompre ‘20 remarked, “Everyone on the team was super nice and welcoming to me and Kate. In the beginning, it was a little scary, but once we got into the season I was instantly comfortable and had a lot of fun.” Coming into a high school sports season can be daunting, but the swim team’s unbelievable level of hospitality and support proved otherwise. Saber ‘20 also commented, “It’s been really really fun and a great experience! There are so many kind and caring people on the team who all welcomed and supported us. It was a great chance to challenge myself while doing something I enjoy and to connect with new people at my school.” By continuing to acknowledge the young talent at WFS , it builds relationships between the younger and older students of the athletic program and also emphasizes our school’s value of community.

As well as this year’s star 8th graders, the swim team has another impressive asset to the team, sophomore Atim Kilama. Kilama began attending Friends as a freshman and in the winter of 2014 she caught the school’s undivided attention. Kilama competes outside of school for a local swim club, BRY, and has made extraordinary achievements through this. She has taken her accomplishments from out-of-school swimming and brought her abilities to the school team likewise. Kilama ‘18 expressed, “I think that BRY ties into Friends swimming because I take the lessons I learn from my BRY family and try to apply it to the Friends community to show others what I’ve learned from the people that I look up to.” Despite the challenges that come with being apart of two teams, Kilama really appreciates and has a love for both. Kilama ‘18 stated, “It’s kind of hard to juggle being on both teams because I usually miss most of the Friends practices and activities they participate in, but both the BRY and Friends swim teams are my family and I can always count on them when I need encouragement to be the best I can.” Kilama has shown and contributed greatly to the WFS swim team and hopes to continue to balance both her club and school swim families.

Along with this year’s amazing team members, this particular season has proved to be one for the books. The girls team won their first conference championship in WFS history! Kilama commented on the experience: “It was very exciting winning conference, mainly because the team has never won in the past. It was amazing to know that myself and my peers helped the team accomplish that. It was a great feeling and getting to see the look on everyone’s faces when they announced our names was incredible for my teammates and I.”

WFS swimming has truly made its mark this winter season and will continue to strive in post-season events and the years to come. Congratulations to the entire swim team’s hard work this season and to the girls team on winning conference! The team has finished all of their regular season meets, but we look forward to hearing who will be representing WFS in the State Tournament!