Palmer Ridge Girl’s Swim and Dive Team Takes A Splash


Rylee Watts (9) swims freestyle at the Country Club at Woodmoor.

Palmer Ridge’s very own girl’s swim team has had a multitude of talented swimmers and divers throughout the years. And this year is no exception. The combined Palmer Ridge and Lewis Palmer girl’s swim team has had quite the season with numerous overall wins. The team, being lead by a handful of senior of captains from both schools, also regularly competes at the end of the year league meet, also known as PPACs, and even takes some individual swimmers and relays to the 5A state meet.

Diya Suri (12) is one of these senior captains and has been on the team since freshman year. “I joined…because I had been club swimming… since middle school… and I wanted to try high school swimming,” she said.

Across her extensive experience in high school swim, Suri has picked up quite a few events along the way. “I typically swim the 50 freestyle and then I like the 100 breaststroke…I [also] swim the 100 freestyle.. [And] relays.” Suri’s favorite event, however, is the “50 freestyle because it is short…like a sprint. I only have to swim for 30 seconds and then I get out,” she said.

While Suri is quite the skilled swimmer, having qualified among the top 16 girls for the 100 freestyle at the PPACs meet, Jaala Stevens (12) just began diving this year. “A friend on the swim team convinced me and another diver to just try out. And we just shot our shot and somehow we made the team,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like that before but I’m really glad I did it.”

Caitlin Beverly (9) swims backstroke at a home swim meet. All photos provided by Diya Suri.

Divers compete in up to 11 events and can even compete in a diver’s relay. Of course, standing at the top of a diving board with nothing but water lying below is not an easy feat. “I have hit my feet before on a dive and [gotten] smacked and got[ten] bruises and black eyes,” said Stevens.

Regardless, the new diver recommends anyone who is interested should still try out diving…”Walking on to that board in a swimsuit in front of [tons of] people and it is silent…you have to have a lot of confidence for that.”

Swimmers and divers alike give it their all during the two-hour practices at the Country Club at Woodmoor. “[To start practice] we line up behind the blocks…we use five out of the six lanes [and] we split up by speed for each lane. Then, they will announce a warm up [which is] pretty standard everyday. [After the warm up], we build up to a main set and there is not a lot of time in between the sets so it gets really tiring. We always…have a main set, a sprint set, sometimes we do a breath control set and you just keep going,” said Suri.

Needless to say, daily practices can be physically challenging for the swimmers. Luckily enough, the team enjoys frequent bonding activities and get-togethers before every meet. “We do pasta parties before every meet which is my absolute favorite thing because we will [play] Just Dance and eat pasta,” Suri adds.

But eventually, the season began to come to a close and both Suri and Stevens got to enjoy Senior Night at one of their last home swim meets. “They individually announce all the seniors and we get to walk through a tunnel of the rest of the girls (shown below). I felt very special, recognized and loved. A lot of people came to watch and support which was really cool because not that many people come [to swim meets]. We [also] had our senior banquet right after the meet,” said Suri. Overall, Stevens and Suri are found joy in their own individual high school swim experiences and are extremely grateful for the swim family they gained because of it.