The Palmyra-Macedon girls swimming and diving team made history this fall. The Red Raiders captured their first Finger Lakes League title in the program’s 20-year history.


That’s why Pal-Mac coach Chris Oaks is the Daily Messenger’s 2012 Girls Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year.

The Palmyra-Macedon girls swimming and diving team made history this fall. The Red Raiders captured their first Finger Lakes League title in the program’s 20-year history.

That’s why Pal-Mac coach Chris Oaks is the Daily Messenger’s 2012 Girls Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year.

“This year’s team came together as a group to swim well and it was the camaraderie of the team, as well as the individual work ethic of each swimmer that carried them along,” Oaks said.

The Red Raiders finished with a 6-0 record in the league and 9-2 record overall.

Pal-Mac had a few first team league all-stars this year — Dana Wilsey, Ellie Jones and Erin Hutchison. However, it took every girl on the team to capture the league title.

In the biggest meet of the season, Pal-Mac held an 89-83 lead over Geneva going into the final event — the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Panthers took first, but the Red Raiders claimed second and third to clinch the win. Alexandra Waasdorp swam the anchor leg for the third-place relay team and passed a Geneva swimmer despite diving into the pool a second behind her.

“On the back of our championship shirts it says ‘A swimmer wins a race, the team wins a championship,’” Oaks said. “That’s what makes this team special. We had excellent swimmers, but it was everyone coming together.”

Pal-Mac took first place at the league invitational and finished third at the Section 5 Class C championship.

Oaks and assistant coach Becky DeSol have led the swim team for four years.

“The first year we coached them, the seniors were freshman, so it was a great way to end our tenure with our team,” Oaks said. “To watch them go out as league champs was one of the greatest rewards of coaching.”