Gladiator Spotlight: Girls varsity swimming & diving team and coach

By Matthew O’Brien, director of health, physical education and athletics/assistant principal of Goshen High School

As we roll out another fall season, we are proud to shine the Gladiator Spotlight on Coach Mel Kubik and the girls swimming and diving team. In just five years, Coach Mel and her athletes significantly raised the bar for swimming and diving in Goshen, and continue to set high expectations heading into 2019.

Last year, the Gladiators were home to the County Champion Medley Relay and strongly represented by Rachel and Annie Shih, Emma Melley, and Alex Barnes.

This season, Coach Mel and the team are working toward even bigger things. “We’re just excited about winning, and what is most exciting is we have these girls for another two years,” she said.

Coach Mel also expects a big season from senior Korianne Moore and junior Maya Northrup. “These two athletes are going to have phenomenal years,” she added. “You have to see these two compete: one-day Korianne wins, the next day Maya wins. They are both working very hard.”

Demonstrating how far she has brought Goshen’s swimming and diving program, several Gladiators are expected to qualify for the NYS Championships this upcoming season. They include former county-champion and 2018 NYS qualifier Emma Melley, as well as top-5 county finishers Annie Shih and Alex Barnes, among others.

Coach Mel recalls a definitive and symbolic moment in year-two of the program. “The moment that stands out to me was beating Middletown, a Division I school in 2017,” she said. “It was at that moment that the girls realized how good they were. That was my favorite moment and one I’ll always remember.”

Celebrating her 20th coaching season, the Gladiators share Coach Mel’s expertise with the New York Sharks, but she makes a key distinction about the Gladiators. “It’s the team element,” Coach Mel said. “The Gladiators have a sense of family that you can’t help but notice.”

Her own strong sense of family is shared with son Joey, a swimmer and seventh grader at Washingtonville Middle School. They spent much of the summer hiking and hanging out at the beach.

The entire Gladiator Nation will be cheering for the girls swimming and diving team this fall. Check out their schedule at gcsny.org/athletics and come out to support them!