Pirates Continue Winning Tradition in the Pool


Photo Credits to Eli Kern

Following the Cinnaminson swim team’s successful 2020-2021 season, the 2022-2023 season is off to a strong start. Last year the Pirates won nine of their 11 meets, and this year they’ve managed to win seven of their first nine meets.

Collin Canfield, the head coach of the swim team, is optimistic about this year’s season. 

“I think we’re having a good season,” Canfield said. “We have a very strong team, and we’re really looking forward to making it to the playoffs this year.” 

After the graduation of 12 seniors, including Julianna Wahl, the team is working on building a new bond. 

“I feel like the team is closer this year. It’s a lot bigger,” senior Abby Neely said. “We lost a lot of good swimmers last season but I feel like we’re doing pretty good without them.” 

Although swimming is an individual sport, each member of the team depends on one another to win. Canfield explains that you can enter six swimmers and any who finish in the Top Five score points; in this way, the whole team relies on one another. No matter your pace, everyone can contribute points. 

“It really is a collective effort to be successful,” Canfield said. “You can really place it on one or two or three or even four people’s shoulders.” 

With a winning record, the team is anticipating a playoff run. Canfield said he is looking forward to going further in the playoffs this year.

“Ultimate goal is to make it into the playoffs and then make it deeper into the playoffs than we have before,” Canfield said. “We’re hoping to ultimately make it to the sectional final meet.”

Senior Michael Machristie said he thinks his team is capable of going far in the playoffs.

“I think we have a very strong team for the division we’re in,” Machristie said. “Our team is filled with a lot of competitive swimmers. I think that has a lot to do with it.” 

Machristie is looking forward to continuing his swimming career after he graduates high school and attends Widener University. With this being his last year swimming for Cinnaminson, not only at the high school level, but for the many swim teams in the area, he reminisces about the people he’s been swimming with since he was young, two of which are his siblings. 

“I swam with some of these people since I was about six years old, so it’s going to be hard to just leave,” Machristie said. “My siblings will still be on the team, so that’s sad.” 

With the remaining members of the team focused on finishing strong and achieving their personal goals, senior Eli Kern said the team has been building on its prior success. 

“All the swimmers that were on last year kept getting better over the summer and the past year, so our team has only been improving,” Kern said.

Two in particular stand out: junior Mason Dranchak and sophomore Bryce Bastien. Dranchak’s fastest time was 58.70 seconds in the 100-meter backstroke while Bastien finished the 50-meter freestyle in 23.96 seconds. Kern claims they put in a lot of work, not only at Cinnaminson, but at their club teams over the summer. 

“I can see that their efforts are paying off everyday and at all of the swim meets they get the best times,” Kern said.