Underclassmen leading way for Eisenhower swim team
Published November 6, 2013
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Kate Svisco, Amanda Hudson and Ashlen Michalski have been swimming together since they were fourth-graders.
Fast forward eight years, and this trio has gone from swimming for fun to swimming for championships.
The three sophomores at Eisenhower have written quite a résumé with their results this season, most notably at the Macomb County championship meet, where the Eagles took second but won seven of the 12 events.
Hudson, Svisco and Michalski were all members of the 200-yard medley relay and 400 freestyle relay that set new county records and qualified for the state meet.
They each claimed individual titles, as well. Hudson won the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke titles, while Svisco took home the 200 IM gold and Michalski won the 50 freestyle.
Despite still being young, Eisenhower coach Lisa Doherty said that she expected this kind of success from the trio this season.
“I see a lot more confidence in them. Freshman year is tough — but as they get older, I expect more out of them; where maybe last year, I would’ve been a little more lenient, I’m expecting them to step up. They need to win races. It doesn’t matter that you’re a sophomore, you’re a leader based on what you can do,” Doherty said.
A convenient component of the trio comes with the fact that all three specialize in different events outside of the two relays. This not only helps Doherty set a lineup, but she said that the trio has also displayed quite a bit of selflessness when deciding which races they would like to each participate in.
“At counties, I knew that the weakest event there was the 100 freestyle, and I knew all three of them could win it. They sat down and decided what they would swim, and they each picked a different race,” Doherty said. “They’re unselfish, they’re motivated and they know what it takes to win. It was fun to see them each give each other a chance at two wins, and they definitely did.”
As opposed to going to states last year as freshmen with no real expectations, Hudson said that they are much better prepared for the state meet this time around.
“It was nice to have the experience to go as a freshman because now I know what it’s like to go to the state meet as a sophomore. It’s pretty overwhelming to go as a freshman because there’s a lot of really fast swimmers at states, but this year, our relays and our individual events are ready to go,” Hudson said.
While Svisco came into Eisenhower together having already been swimming on the same club team with Michalski and Hudson, Svisco said that she didn’t have any expectations for how good she would be so soon until last year’s county meet.
“When I came into it, I didn’t think about being the best in the county until last year, when I realized that I could against all of the other girls, and that’s when it became a goal for me,” Svisco said.
In addition to the trio of sophomores, Eisenhower also has a freshman diver who is already making noise in Macomb County. Andrea Bugariu took second place at the county meet, and after that performance, she went to the MISCA meet and placed sixth after being in 20th place earlier in the competition. Doherty said that despite the impressive finishes Bugariu has had as a freshman, Bugariu expects the absolute best out of herself.
“She works very hard; her work ethic is pretty amazing. She expects perfection out of herself, so even when she’s a little bit off, like the second place at counties, she wasn’t very happy with it,” Doherty said.
Bugariu has been competing against Chippewa Valley diver Sydney Ronald, who has scored high enough in competition to be considered for All-American honors, and Doherty said that Bugariu has embraced that challenge.
“She views herself as every bit as good. She holds herself up to that level. She wants to be the best. So when she fell a little bit short at counties, she was not happy with herself,” Doherty said. “At MISCA, What was impressive to see in her as a freshman is that she got down that far and didn’t give up on herself. She was able to come back into a top-six finish, and that’s huge.”
Ultimately, the trio of Hudson, Svisco and Michalski hope to be named All-State and to also replace the names of the 2008 class that had similar talent and currently dominates the record board at the Eisenhower pool. Doherty said that this trio has the ability, but it will be up to them to decide how far they go.
“I’m hoping that they see the talent within themselves and keep pushing each other. I think that’s what you get when you get a trio of kids that are that good — the internal, everyday working out and trying to outdo each other vaults you to the top, and I’m hoping that they’re going to see that in the next couple of years.”