by Lauren Garabedian
Eleven swimmers and divers from the Niagara-Wheatfield boys varsity swimming team have been selected to participate in sectionals this year.
The Section VI Swimming and Diving Championships will take place this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, at Clarence High School.
Coach Mike Casaro is extremely proud of this year's undefeated season as well as the team's long-running record.
"In the last seven seasons, we've been undefeated five of them," explained Casaro.
Niagara-Wheatfield always has swimmers invited to attend sectionals, and this year there are 11 boys: Josh Miller, Owen Chapman, Jared Francioso, Dan Bauer, Dan Peltier, Troy Wagner, Dan Zendano, Jack Kellogg, Chris Bunker, and TJ Bradfield.
"All of these swimmers are talented and deserve to compete," said Casaro. "It all comes down to how strong of a person they are mentally."
Many of these swimmers have a lot of experience in the pool. Team captain Troy Wagner has been swimming since fifth grade and specializes in the backstroke. Wagner is a senior, and is enjoying his last year.
"I couldn't ask for a better team," said Wagner.
Sophomore Dan Peltier has been swimming since seventh grade. He became inspired by his mom, who also was a swimmer in high school. Peltier specializes in the breaststroke and will continue swimming through his high school career.
"Throughout all my years of swimming, this one has to be the most fun and memorable of them all," explained swimmer Dan Zendano.
All three of these swimmers show a passion for swimming that will always be a part of their lives.
Casaro is hoping to continue the Niagara-Wheatfield tradition of a strong, competitive swim team.
"We're young enough that I hope we can compete for the championship next year," he said.
Lauren Garabedian is an eighth-grade student at Edward Town Middle School.