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Swim Captains Feature By: Ava Muharem

From practicing in cohorts to virtual swim meets, nothing about the WRHS girls swim team has stayed consistent. So much has changed, but thankfully they had three extraordinary captains to lead the team through the most uncertain times. Spencer Burkowsky, Samantha Erickson, and Emily Buyer are the senior captions for the Woodland Girl’s swim team.

In an interview with Burkosky, she explained her love for swim, and how the changes this year has impacted her senior year.

“My name is Spenser Burkowsky and I am a senior at Woodland Regional High School. I have been swimming backstroke and freestyle since I was in 6th grade. I have always been good at swimming, and my love for water drew me to try out in 6th grade. I also wanted to try something new.”

When Burkowsky is not in the pool, she spends her time hanging out with her friends and going out to eat.

“COVID-19 has affected my senior year in so many ways. I don’t get the full experience of a normal season for my senior year. We also don’t get to build up our season to NVLS. I will miss Coach Magas because I have been swimming for him for seven years. I will also miss the team so much because we have become like a family and we have so much fun together.

The next swim captain has been nicknamed “BUDDY”, and rightfully so, because she always finds a way to hype the team up.

“My name is Emily Beyer and I am a senior in the class of 2021. I have been swimming with magas and the community since I was in 6th grade.”

As a distance swimmer, Emily participates in the 500 freestyle event and the 200 freestyle.

“Outside of swimming I love to play softball, go to the beach, and TAN! I also really love hanging out with my family and friends. I am going to miss so much about swimming, from the bus rides, to the team itself. It is so sad that I will never see bagel practices scheduled on the board, or get the best advice from Coach Magas.”

The third swim captain is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, which is why she is so loved by her team.

“My name is Samantha Erickson and I am a senior in the class of 2021. I have been swimming with the school since eighth grade, but I swam for about five years prior to that with Naugatuck and Waterbury teams. On the Woodland team, I swim distance, so the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. I think what drew me to swimming was my older sister always did it, so I was always at their meets when I was younger. They always had a lot of fun at meets and practices so I decided to get involved. Outside of swimming, I play hockey and tennis. The changes this year have impacted my senior year drastically. It is definitely difficult adjusting to all the new schedule changes to both school and swimming, especially after three years of a certain schedule. This year, we only go to school with half of our grade, which is something that took a lot of time to adjust to. For swimming, we compete in meets virtually. I believe as a whole we are adjusting well, but it definitely took time! On the swim team, I will definitely miss the team and coaches the most. This team has taught me so much- including how to be a resilient and compassionate leader.”