Swim fans across the Hanover-area may not have heard about the Delone Catholic swim team this season. That is because it does not exist. Yet, one of the best 100-meter freestyle swimmers in the state hails from Squire Country.
Delone Catholic senior Victoria Griffin and five other swimmers from Delone compete independently, but it was Griffin who was the lone Squire to compete at the PIAA state meet. Her success this season earned her the title of Girls' Swimmer of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Her season was full of highlights including a second- and third-place finish at states. It was the second-place finish, in her last high school race, though, that she will remember. She swam a personal-best 50.17 in the 100 freestyle to earn a silver medal.
"It was awesome," Griffin said. "I wanted to win, that was my goal but I didn't. I knew Adrianna was a lot faster than her seed time, so I just had to get that in my head and just try to stay with her. I was so happy with my time at the end of the race that I actually started crying. A reporter came over afterwards and said that he was shocked that I was upset with my swim. I told him that I was just upset that it was my last swim and I did really well. I was really emotional and I just wanted to go there and give it all I had."
Griffin's success in the pool has earned her the opportunity to continue her swimming career next year at Bowling Green University.
One of the challenges of not having a swim team at the school was that it required Griffin to travel 45 minutes to the York YMCA six days a week where she swims club to get her three-hour practice in. On Sundays, she would swim with the other Delone swimmers at the Hanover YMCA.
Despite earning two medals last year at the PIAA Championships, Griffin was not satisfied. She spent the off-season working on her turns and on just having fun.
"I have an issue breathing in and out of my turns," Griffin said. "Instead of having me do a full-out practice on Sundays, I would work on my turns and breathing techniques into the wall and out of the wall. Last year I also let a lot of things get to me which I shouldn't have. This year I went out there for myself and tried to have fun and not worry about anyone and focus on me and it absolutely worked."
Griffin and the rest of the Delone swimmers were able to swim exhibition during Northern York meets. Their times counted for districts, but they did not accumulate points for any teams.
"Since we swam a lot of meets with Northern York, they kind of took me under their wing," Griffin said. "Being with their girls and going up to districts and states with them was a great experience."
Another draw back of not having a swimming team is that fan support is hard to come by.
"At districts my teammates were there, but then going to states, no one really from my school went except for me, my parents and my sister," Griffin said. "It was kind of disappointing and upsetting. I just had to get that out of my head and remember that I am here to represent my school no matter if anyone is here or not; I have to try my best."
The highlight for Griffin's season however, was the opportunity to swim with her twin sister Ashley.
Ashley had played for the Delone basketball team as a junior, but opted to swim as a senior. Once she got back into the water, she picked up right where she left off.
"She had taken a year or two off of swimming," Griffin said. "When she came back she was getting best times again. She made it to districts which was pretty impressive."
Griffin began swimming at nine-years-old and fell in love with it.
"It doesn't involve flying objects," she said. "I do not have good hand eye coordination at all so that was a factor. I love being in the water and love being able to do something on my own but also being a part of a team."