A couple of weekends ago, high school teams across Palm Beach County competed in the Palm Beach County High School Swimming and Diving Championships at Lake Lytal Aquatic Center. The meet started on Friday after the school day ended for those who did not meet set time standards. Then, prelims began on Saturday morning for those who had the qualifying times, and again in the afternoon for finals. After a heated competition, the Saint Andrews Scot came out on top for the ninth consecutive year in a row.
Saints Andrews had six total first place finishes, in both relays and individual events. The girls earned 361 total points, while the boys finished with 337 total points. Clearly, there is something special about this team. In the following interview with one of their coaches, Quinn Cassidy, we asked about what makes his team stand out and what their plans for the future are. From the small details, like a finish, to the big picture, like using power built in practice, Saint Andrews does it all and it helps them to finish out on top.
FSN: What is the environment like on your team, between the kids as well as the coaches?
Cassidy: The environment on our team is all about being focused, paying attention to detail, and working hard. Coaches and athletes alike, everyone is ready to bring their best every time we walk on deck.
FSN: What is the main thing you focus on when training? What is the main thing you focus on before a big meet?
Cassidy: In training, we have different focuses depending on the day. In our weekly training schedule we are sure to have aerobic practices, power practices, technique practices, and recovery practices. Whatever type of practice it is we are sure to have great focus. When getting ready for a big meet a main thing we focus on us attention to detail, clean breakouts, quick turns, great finishes. The little things are what we focus on when getting ready for a big meet.
FSN: What do you think helps Saint Andrews to be so successful as a team?
Cassidy: I think what helps Saint Andrew’s be so successful as a team is that all the athletes are bought in to the program. Everyone understands the direct correlation between hard work and success. Also the synergy between the coaches. Head Coach Sid Cassidy is one of the greatest and most well known coaches in the world, and he coached everyone on our coaching staff. Coach Kurt Predmore swam for him, Coach Kaitlin Doeck swam for him, Coach Ramon Walton swam for him, and so did I. So we all understand the program really well having already gone through it ourselves.
FSN: What are your main goals for your team going into the state series?
Cassidy: Going into the state series our goal is to enter the state meet with as many athletes as possible. At the state meet we want as much hardware as we can get. Relays are always a point of emphasis for us and we think we can have some great relays on both the boys and the girls side. If we can get a few relay state titles that would be great. Our team goals are to finish top 2 in both, but we always race for first.
FSN: What was your team’s goal going into County’s, how has your win affected your team’s mentality?
Cassidy: Our team goal going into counties was to win and put up some quick times. It was the first time this season we let some kids wear suits and we were really impressed with all the swims. Our team is very confident coming off of a meet like that. We lifted and went hard doubles on Friday, so to see everyone throwing down fast times like they did Saturday was a huge confidence boost. But what’s important was that everyone was back in the pool this morning for practice, right back to work and not missing a beat. Getting the job done.
By Cathleen Rabideau