A Courageous Award For A Courageous Team


Back in late November, the Lenape swim team experienced what was most likely the most horrific event any of them had ever been a part of. While on their way to an important swim meet, their bus was struck head-on by a car driving somewhere between 80 to 100 miles per hour. Both people in the car were dead by the time the police got there, but the bus driver and all of the girls on the bus were safe, despite a few injuries. The front of the bus was badly damaged and many of the students were thrown forward and sideways after impact, hitting the back of seats and windows. The girls had a variety of injuries, including broken noses, cracked teeth, dislocated jaws, bitten tongues and lips, concussions, and the occasional headache. Swim team representative Samantha Gray reports that the team threw a “towel party”, since they were using each others’ towels to keep blood from their injuries from leaking everywhere. The bus driver was injured as well, but not seriously. Unfortunately, they had no idea where they were and had to be helped onto another bus by said bus’s passengers. They were transported to Virtua in Mount Holly where lots of X-rays were taken and a lot of worrying was done. Good news though, everyone was fine and not terribly ┬áinjured.

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The Courage Award is, as the name insinuates, an award presented to the team that was considered to be the most courageous during the swimming season. Our girls were awarded it due to the fact that they were brave throughout such a terrible event. Quoted from Sam Gray: “We were knocked on our butts, but we got right back up and into the water.”. The team was able to win their first meet with only nine people and slowly started to gain manpower afterwards. Overall, the team won a good number of meets and lost four. Their biggest fear after the accident was that they may never be able to come back as a team and had to completely change their strategies. Sam notes that they not only received support from each other but from everyone around them, including their fellow Lenape students and had a great year together. Sam herself was the last one back in the water after everyone had concussions, minus three girls. Personally, I’m glad that everyone managed to get back on their feet and fight even more strongly than before, just to make up for lost time.

sam grayjustina lani