Swimming hasn’t traditionally been a power program at Greenwood — but help is on the way.
The first wave of reinforcements actually arrived this year on the girls side, where a pair of freshmen are offering a glimpse of what the future might bring.
It took Grace Nuhfer all of one meet to make her mark on the Woodmen.
In the team’s opener against Roncalli and New Palestine, the ninth-grader won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:00.21, smashing the previous school record of 1:02.73.
Nuhfer, who eclipsed the old high school record time during her previous club season, said she was hoping to officially break it early on in her varsity career.
“I knew for sure with the right training I’d be able to get it again the first meet of the high school season,” she said. “I didn’t want to be cocky, but I pretty much knew the whole time.”
Nuhfer might not be the only freshman rewriting the Woodmen record book by season’s end. Classmate Ava Leininger is already within striking distance of the standards in the 50 and 100 freestyles (25.01 and 55.1 seconds, respectively).
While Nuhfer has been swimming in the Greenwood Gators club program since age 7, Leininger is more of a newcomer, having made the accidental transition from diving to swimming in seventh grade.
“I didn’t want to do swimming,” Leininger said. “My first meet I didn’t know I was going to swim at all, and then they told me I was doing the 50 free; it was pretty scary.”
Leininger took to it immediately, though, and never looked back.
“I was not good at diving,” she admitted. “I was so bad at it.”
Nuhfer and Leininger could be joined later this season by another freshman, Alayna Kenworthy, who is currently working her way back from an injury. That trio is the first wave of a growing talent pool coming up from the Gators, a club that has grown considerably under the direction of Greenwood varsity assistant Zander Nunnelly.
“We certainly haven’t (traditionally) been a team of club members,” Woodmen head coach Matt Hockersmith said. “This is the first year we’ve had club members enter in, and there’s going to be a lot more to come after. So it’s kind of the very beginning of turning the page.”
“On our club team, we have a lot of seventh- and eight-graders currently, and some sixth-graders too, who are getting really good,” Nuhfer added. “When they come up my junior year, we’re going to have a really killer team that’s going to do amazing things.”