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The sisters represent the bridge from the past to the future in Greenwood

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After finishing among the top 25 teams in last season’s state competition, the Greenwood women’s swim team knew they had two big holes to fill with the graduation of Grace Nuhfer and Alayna Kenworthy, two of the most influential performers in the history of the school.

Thankfully, the Woodmen knew they had reinforcements on the way – and no one knew better than current senior Charli Graves, whose younger sister Reagan immediately made a splash as a freshman along with her classmate Chloe Vitatoe.

“I was really excited to know they were getting in there,” said Charli Graves. “We were losing two, we were winning two, so I was hoping we could keep our place where we were – and I think Chloe and Reagan are really helping us do that.”

So far, it certainly has been. Reagan Graves showed up at the Johnson County meet last month, edging Franklin senior Paige Lawrence 0.19 seconds to win the 500-yard freestyle – a particularly impressive feat considering Lawrence finished 12th. of the state during this ordeal last winter.

“(Winning) was my goal,” Reagan said. “I was really excited because as a first year it really gave me a lot of confidence in what I can do later.”

Reagan was also second in the county in the 200 freestyle and was the second player on the Greenwood medley relay team. Vitatoe was also a major contributor, placing third in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 200 IM. The duo will be at the forefront of the Woodmen’s efforts to improve on their third place finish from last year when they meet at the Mid-State Conference this weekend.

Of course, the returning vets are a long way from broken liver. Senior Madison Peckinpaugh and junior Naomi Weaver both swam in the Greenwood QN relay, ranked 15th last season, and Charli Graves competed at State in 2020 as part of the 400 freestyle relay quartet.

For the Woodmen girls, going to the IU Natatorium – and scoring points – is now an expectation.

“We talk about it all the time,” said Greenwood coach Ray Onisko. “Not only how are we going to get there, but how are we going to score? “

Charli Graves has established herself as one of the team’s leaders over the past two seasons and is comfortable in her role as the Woodmen’s mother hen. When asked about sibling rivalries, she and Reagan ended this discussion pretty quickly.

“She’s been faster than me since (I was 13-14) and she was 11-12,” Charli said of Reagan. “I’m just used to her being faster than me at this point.”

There’s no shame in that – Reagan is faster than a lot of swimmers. Competing with the Greenwood Gators club team, she landed three top 20s in last summer’s Senior State competition (200 and 400 freestyle and 200 butterfly) despite being the only 14-year-old finalist. in all of these events.

With her and Vitatoe adding an infusion of young talent to the experienced core that the Woodmen have brought back, confidence is understandably high that Greenwood can maintain their recent history of state-level success.

“We have enough upper class students this year who kind of know where we’ve been and how to get there,” Charli Graves said. “I think we are very well organized.


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