Tosa East Girls Swim Team Sends Freshman to State


Wauwatosa East Freshman Olivia Small swims in a meet against DSHA on September 10.

Maeve Kaufman

The Tosa East Girls Swim team has an extremely successful season despite setbacks this year due to COVID and the renovations of the swimming pool at East. On Saturday, November 7th, the girls Varsity team found themselves at the WIAA Division 1 Sectional Championship meet. Not only were two records broken for the team this year, but one of Tosa East’s own Freshman, Olivia Small, had qualified for the state meet. The 200 medley relay which consists of all four strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly) has held a record time of 1:56.49 since 1993, which has recently been broken by this year’s Senior Stella Gabor, Junior Maddie Bartzm, Freshman Alissa Novalija, and Freshman Oliva Small, who swam backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly, respectively, for a new time of 1:55.67. The second record was broken by senior Stella Gabor, who beat her own school record for the 100 backstroke with a new finishing time of 59.86 seconds. 

Competing at the WIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, November 14th,  was freshman Olivia Small. Small was seeded at 16th for the 100 butterfly, but finished with an improvement to 13th place. Small is an avid swimmer during and outside of school and comments, “The team was really fun and it was way different than my club team because TEGS is very socially oriented and more laid back which is kind of a breath of fresh air for me.”

The team faced more struggles with the pool being closed due to construction and trying to make the best of their season during the times of COVID. East has been constructing a new pool for the team to swim in leaving the girls team to find a couple new locations for the season. Coach Russel Weigel has said that the girls have been practicing at other locations like Tosa West, Longfellow Middle School and Whitman Middle School while their home pool has been under the works. However, the team managed to keep a positive and persevering mindset throughout the season. Small says, “Sectionals was pretty nerve racking because a lot of girls and I were coming back from quarantine, but the rest of the girls made it worth it by pushing each other and just being supportive no matter how we did.” 

Although the Tosa East Girls Swim Team has faced many of its own challenges this year, the girls have managed to finish out their season stronger than ever. By breaking long withheld records and competing well against other schools, the Tosa East Girls Swim Team has shown everyone that COVID hasn’t affected their motivation for success this season.