Swimming to Victory


Back row (left to right) Aspen Ferguson, Dalton Brandstetter, Corbin Peters Front row (left to right) Emily Carter, Abbygael Beyer, Rylei Cornett, Jheyda Hopkins, Abigail Harvey

Landon Skeens, Writer

Woodrow Wilson High School’s (WWHS) swim season for the year of 2023 has officially come to a close. This season introduced many new members, Aspen Ferguson, Morgan Booth, Abbygael Beyer and Emily Carter on the team. The swim team also gained a new coach, Robert McClain.

McClain has been a biology, zoology and AP biology teacher at Woodrow for three years and enjoys helping students in any way he can, including stepping up to be the school’s newest swim coach. 

Throughout the season, each student was required to meet at the Beckley YMCA for training to practice strokes and turns for a minimum of one hour, Monday through Friday. It was this dedication and perseverance that allowed the team to go above and beyond at competitions. Each student qualified for the regional competition.  While Woodrow Wilson High School’s (WWHS) own Corbin Peters competed at the state tournament in February; he placed 15th in the 500 and 18th in the 200 individual medley.

Other highlights of the season included playing water polo before practices, bus rides, dinners full of laughter, and cheering on other teammates.

      Jheyda Hopkins has been a part of the team since her freshman year. Though she is a sophomore, her attitude about the team’s overall performance at this year’s swim meets is that of an experienced competitor. “The season went really well,” she said. “All of us improved our speed, communication, and opened up more to each other.”

“Though transitions to new coaches are always difficult, Hopkins said McClain stood up to the challenge. In addition, Hopkins expressed how well each new person did fantastic this season. McClain is very proud of his team, and wishes to remind all athletes that they can be successful, as long as they put the work in. “Not everyone’s a top athlete, but everyone can be their own best. Stay strong, work hard, and always give in practice what you expect to come out in the pool.”