OC Swim Making a Splash!

Emma Shaughnessy '20, Sports Editor

The sound of splashing fills the pool deck as the experienced swimmers start their laps and the new swimmers begin to gain their “sea legs.” A sense of excitement flies through the water lying within the bones of old and new. Swim season has begun. 


Standing on deck, surveying her kids is Mercedes McCarthy, head coach. With her leading the coaching staff, many swimmers have gotten their “wip cuts” and gone as far as states. “Wip cut” is a common word among the team, especially during a meet. It is the shortened version of WPIAL Cut, a time that one must have to qualify for WPIALS. Merci is known for her encouraging speeches and having faith in every swimmer who steps onto the deck.  


“I have been coaching off and on at OC for some time now…Starting in 99/00 We had four great state championship seasons. then I moved a little too far away… just outside of Weirton on the state line. Two years later, I got a call from Athletic Director George Rudolph asking me to come back… can’t say no to George! I made the long drive into Pittsburgh and I coached for four more years. We won four more state championships which were very exciting…then with health and family issues. I thought I was retiring for good. Three years later, another phone call came, this time from Brother Bob at Central… can’t say no to Brother Bob! So here I am “Sticking to the plan” at Oakland and Central eight years later. The team is very deep this season, We have a large number of girls who swim all year on club teams. That helps us to be well prepared. Our divers are pretty strong this season as well. We have a number of returning state swimmers plus our returning state diver. Overall I expect the team to do very well in our dual meets and have an impressive showing at both the swimming and diving WPIALS.”

– Merci McCarthy


November 19th marked the first day of practice and the start of the season. Everyone is excited for the season to start. Senior dive captain, Ava Christy shared her hopes for the season, “I hope that this is a great season and that people become better friends and make new friends and enjoy the sport as much as I do!” We cannot wait for the first meet on December 12th at Chatham University. Come cheer on the team and as Merci says, “Say your prayers”, and “Stick to the Plan!”