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"Holy" trinity welcomes last season, final partner

Seniors+Julia+Kornatowska%2C+Olga+Bulka%2C+and+Justyna+Kowalski+and+Coach+Cook
Seniors Julia Kornatowska, Olga Bulka, and Justyna Kowalski and Coach Cook

Seniors Julia Kornatowska, Olga Bulka, and Justyna Kowalski and Coach Cook

Seniors Julia Kornatowska, Olga Bulka, and Justyna Kowalski and Coach Cook

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Senior varsity swimmers Olga Bulka, Julia Kornatowska, and Justyna Kowalski have been enjoying the senior season they’ve imagined for four years.

This three part group of senior standouts, affectionately dubbed the “holy trinity,”  have competed in the same varsity relay – the 400 freestyle – together since sophomore year.

Bulka explained how the trio’s success became intertwined: “It was always me, Justyna, and Julia having the same pace and practice level. We put in extra work, especially since I’ve joined a club season I was swimming all the time in the summer, which shows now in the events.”

But relays take four swimmers, and the senior trio has spent the last three years welcoming a fourth member to their team within a team. Sophomore and junior year they were the younger swimmers, welcoming a returning varsity member as the fourth member. This year, they’re swimming along with a new member: Brianna Kwit. Bulka admitted that any roster change is tough: “It was kind of hard to transition to a new member.”

Kwit, new varsity member and fourth member of the relay, understands her important role in helping the returning relay members realize their potential. She noted, “varsity has harder workouts, and JV was easier. The pace was way faster. At first it was hard, but now I can keep up with this relay.” She put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours to be able to maintain the fast pace the returning members are hoping for.

Even with all the timidness and uneasiness of having a younger swimmer on a challenging event, they have repeatedly won first place in their event. The countless hours of practice finally paid off. As practices and hard swimming drills went on throughout the season, their times  continued to improve, especially their individual splits. Going from a conference swimmer at the JV level as a freshman and sophomore, Kwit is now competing with sectional swimmers who have been swimming at a fast pace for longer than she has. Bulka said, “I do believe this relay has a really great chance at doing good at sectionals. We broke the varsity record last year, and I think we might break it again this year. State is the goal!” The four girls’ anticipation is high while they await their sectional meet on November 11. If the relay exceeds and reaches the time they need, they have a significant chance of going to state. After all the hard work, Bulka said, “We all have one common goal, and even though it’s hard, we know that together we can reach it.”

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