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Council Rock North swimming kicks off campaign with carnival (PHOTO GALLERY)

Ellie Brandbergh swims the butterfly in the 200 relay. (John Gleeson – 21st-Century Media)

NEWTOWN – When it comes to designing a season opener, the Council Rock North swim officials certainly know how to stage a gala event. Gather every performer in the Suburban One League (SOL), immerse them in highly competitive relay events, and watch the fun unfold.

After linking arms and singing the National Anthem, the swimmers set about the task of sizing up the competition, bettering their own efforts, and getting to know their teammates.

Jacqueline Rounsavill, one of Council Rock North’s stellar swimmers, loved the entire atmosphere. “This was our first meet of the season so we used it to get ready for our upcoming meets. It’s nice that our first meet is the carnival because it’s a fun one. It gets us pumped and excited about the rest of the season.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY AT MEDIA.BUCKSLOCALNEWS.COM

It also gives each swimmer a preview of what is to come. Jacqueline felt, “It was nice to get a little preview of all the teams together. It was kind of cool having every single team there, both boys and girls, so I got to see almost everybody swim. You can kind of anticipate the upcoming meets.”

In addition to evaluating future opponents, the swimmers also honed their own skills. “The relays that we did are going to be pretty much what we do for the rest of the season. The freshman have been in a few different events because the coaches don’t know them as well. But the sophs, juniors and seniors are in the events they’ll do during the season.”

For Jacqueline, that includes performing in the 100 breaststroke, the 50 freestyle and the medley relay team. “I do free style and breaststroke. My favorite events are the 50 free style and the100 breaststroke. This year, I’m on the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. I think both teams are really great.”

Though only a junior, Jacqueline has already established her proficiency in both of her individual events. She currently ranks sixth on the all-time Council Rock Hall of Fame List in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 breaststroke. That places her among such past swim greats as Alison Nemeth, Carla Vey, Trish Harm, Lindsey DeForrest, and the Dillione sisters.

Such lofty company only inspires Jacqueline to set her goals higher. “I really focus on the 50 freestyle. I’d really like to get to states, hopefully, in the 50. I think our medley relay team has a really good shot at states. Timewise, I am hoping to do a 23 in the 50 free and a 1:06 in the 100 breast.”

Regardless of times, Jacqueline recognizes a more important aspect of her swim career. “When I was little, I remember I just started to swim and I didn’t stop. Something really drew me to it. Since then, it has really been my friends on the team. Honestly, its crazy how close we all are. That’s what gets me up in the morning.”

As with most scholastic swimmers, Jacqueline splits her time between school and her club, George School Aquatics. She estimates she spends close to 18 hours in the pool. Three of those hours are reserved for morning swim sessions that begin before 6 a.m.

Jacqueline has come to value these early workouts. “I really found that I love the morning practices. I don’t like getting up in the morning but once there, I think they are the most fun. It’s kind of peaceful because there is a window at the pool and you can watch the sun rise. Everyone is there and it’s kind of quiet but there is some sort of energy because we are all swimming laps. At the end of morning practice, the girls all play music in the locker room. We all have a good time getting ready as a team.”

The key word is camaraderie. “Our team is super-duper close. All the girls are really nice. Over the past few years, we have had such an awesome bond. We know how to pump each other up for the races. We are there for the hard times and the good times.”

This year’s version of Council Rock swimming is also blessed with large numbers. “This year, we have three awesome captains and really big junior and freshmen classes. There’s a lot of new energy.”

Based on the Council Rock Swim Carnival, North will once again be a force to reckon with in the Suburban One League. They have the talent and the team chemistry.

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