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Team-first culture rooted in service for Pal-Mac girls swim team

Daunting workouts, fiery speeches and last-second victories are all staples in the story of any successful team; however, for the 2018 Palmyra-Macedon girls varsity swim team, it began with 22 girls holding shovels and pitchforks, surrounded by cows and horses.

When coaches Christopher Oaks and Rebecca DeSol took over the team a decade ago, they wanted to build a selfless, team-first culture in a sport highlighted by individual times and statistics. Over the years, they’ve delivered these lessons through community service, something they establish early each season.

“Swimming appears to be an individualized sport, but those familiar with the sport know it’s tough to do alone,” said Oaks, a three-time Finger Lakes Coach of the Year. “Grueling workouts are done best, and close races are won, with the support of the team.”

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