Withstanding Scarsdale's waves of versatile swimmers will prove difficult for other Section 1 swim teams this season. Despite graduating a strong group of seniors, the Raiders boast depth in nearly every event.
"We lost a lot of seniors," Scarsdale coach Tim Callahan said. "It'll be a bit of a struggle being as strong as last year. But we had some freshmen come in who will definitely fill some gaps for us. The team we have is very diversified. We have half a dozen or more kids who could swim almost any event very well."
Last season Scarsdale went 8-0 and finished fifth at the Section 1 meet. Daniel Needham, now a junior, swam the 200-yard freestyle and the 500 free last season, and made the state meet in the 500 free. Over the summer, Needham swam with the Badger Swim Club to help improve his times.
Needham was not the only Raider who joined club teams and summer teams this past off-season.
"I think we have four freshmen who swim year-round," Needham said. "A lot of guys joined club teams and got a lot better. We have at least 15 guys who are swimming at a club level."
Senior co-captain Sivan Mehta had a busy offseason competing in the 100 backstroke, the 50 free, and the 100 butterfly -- events he did not compete in last season.
"During the club season and summer season, I really excelled in those events in particular," Sivan said. "Doing those events would benefit the team the most."
Mehta and sophomore Charles McFarland will continue to compete in the 200 medley relay.
Mehta said that as a captain he tries to promote team unity during speed workouts by congratulating a teammate after a race -- whether he won or lost. He said he encourages the younger swimmers to push each other in a similarly friendly way, thereby further improving the team's versatility.
"We can cover every single event at any meet and expect to do very well," Mehta said. "At a dual meet, I think we can expect to win almost every race because we have such a variety of talent."
Mehta cited Scarsdale's two meets with Ardsley as a way to measure the Raiders' progress. Scarsdale will swim at Ardsley on Dec. 17, and then meet Ardsley again on Jan. 18 in the final meet of the regular season.
"Later when we swim against them back at our pool, it'll be a good indicator of how much progress we can make," Mehta said. "They're the toughest team that we're going to swim against."