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New Hope-Solebury pair get their feet wet in high school swimming


Maria Kesisoglou and Louden Foff have taken the plunge into high school swimming.

The pair both attend New Hope-Solebury, which does not have a swim team, so they are both in their first year of competing as independent swimmers.

Kesisoglou, a junior, has been swimming since she was a toddler.

“I’ve been swimming since I was about 2, but this is my first time swimming competitively for high school,” she said. “All my friends from my club team swim for a high school team and I felt just a bit jealous because I wanted to have that, too.

“I tried other sports. I did soccer when I was really young, I did gymnastics and I did ballet for three or four years but I really just wanted to swim.”

Foff, a freshman, knew that this would be his path to high school swimming.

“I was born in Virginia and we moved here when I was in seventh grade,” he said. “I knew that New Hope didn’t have a team so I realized I’d have to figure something out.

“I love swimming. I don’t always love the practices but I try hard and I do my best. My father taught me how to swim but it’s really my passion.

“I tried some other sports and I still play basketball. I would say as far as games go basketball is more fun but swimming shows you where your hard work and dedication pays off.”

Both swim club for Central Bucks Regional Swim Team and are coached by Foff’s father, John, at the Doylestown YMCA. The elder Foff, a former standout at Hatboro-Horsham and Gettysburg, is also the head coach of the boys team at CB West.

That’s been beneficial for both Kesisoglou and Foff, as they swim their time trials with the CB West team. Independent swimmers must have their times certified by PIAA officials, so they typically swim their events solo during other teams’ dual meets.

“The girls from West have been very welcoming,” Kesisoglou said. “I know a lot of them from club so it’s been a good experience for me. A lot of the time I have to swim my events either alone or with only one or two other people, but I’m good at competing against myself so I’m fine with it. I wish I had started doing high school sooner but I’m glad I’m doing it now.”

Foff had a bit more experience with the Bucks.

“I’ve actually been coming here for a few years to try to do practices with them because I know that this program is good and I want that experience,” he said. “A lot of my friends from club are here so that made it easier.”

Both have their postseason goals. They would compete in Class 2A in District One.

“I’ve already made the consideration district cuts in the 100 butterfly and the 200 individual medley, and I’m very proud of that,” Kesisoglou said. “Obviously my goal is to make it to districts and then states.

“I love swimming and I’d love to continue swimming in college.”

Foff is also eyeing the 100 butterfly as one of his events.

“I really want to drop a couple of seconds in my 100 fly and hopefully make districts and states for high school, also make nationals for YMCA,” he said. “Those are my main goals.

“I’m looking at the 100 fly and probably the 500 freestyle and the mile (in YMCA swimming), but the fly is definitely my favorite.

“I haven’t been swimming that a lot in the past few years. This is the first year I’ve really been trying it and I noticed I’ve been dropping a lot of time so that’s what motivated me to shoot for it. It’s been a work in progress.

“Districts is a whole different mentality. Everyone there is so dedicated, everyone is so focused on what they need to do. It’s so different from regular meets so I’m looking forward to that.”

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