The swim season has finally taken off after a very late start. A predicted two-week construction delay turned into five weeks of demolition at the natatorium which forced swimmers all over the district to find new methods of working out.
“If they had told us ahead of time, we could’ve planned ahead and had more,” head coach Betsy Murphy said. “I talked with some trainers and looked at several different websites like college and USA swimming for what would be the most beneficial activities for our time frame.”
The swim team worked out in the small gym and rubber gym for the duration of construction, mainly doing core workouts and other “dry-land” exercises. Exercises that are done out of the water like core, strength or cardio, swimmers call dry-land because it’s on dry land rather than the water. Though the swimmers missed out on over a month of practice in the pool, swimmers saw an improvement when they finally were able to get in the water again and fully embrace their identity as swimmers.
“So far I feel like we have grown really close together as a team, especially now that we all practice together, rather than in two groups,” Captain Carolyn Kosek said. “I hope we can keep that friendly spirit going through the entire year.”
After a mere three weeks of official practice in the water, the swim team already had their first meet. The girl’s team got third place while the boys got eighth. Overall the team received fourth place, which inspired high hopes for this season. The swim team has had a total of three meets this season so far with improved results each time. The latest meet was Non-Tisca on Saturday, Nov. 16 and then Tisca, a time qualifying meet, will be on Friday, Nov. 22 through Saturday, Nov. 23.
“I really hope that we’ll be able to get some swimmers to state, especially with all the talented freshmen we have this year,” Kosek said. “One of my goals this year for the team is to promote our sport to the rest of the school. I’m going to try and get the Nest to come support our team at Districts and show our school spirit.”
New teammates have also gotten into the swing of team dynamics and have bonded and integrated with the veteran members.
[My experience on the team has] been great,” freshman Raina Rollins said. “The team is amazing and supportive and friendly to everyone.”
In addition to new members of the team, the swim team also has a new assistant coach, Coach Carolyn Kendrick.
“I was expecting for our athletes to swim much sooner than they were able to,” Kendrick said. “I could feel the disappointment from everybody, however, I think Coach Murphy and the team handled it really well.”
Never learning how to swim as a child, Kendrick finally decided to learn how as an adult. She gave herself a deadline of two months by signing up for a sprint triathlon. Despite never having competed before and having novice swimming skills, she came in fifth place. From there she has competed in numerous other competitions and has podium each time.
“I still find swimming very challenging. I think that is why I absolutely love watching our swimmers, they look graceful and peaceful [with] their strokes,” Kendrick revealed. “I think swimming is beautiful.”
Not coming from a swimming background, Kendrick was put in a new, unfamiliar role, however, she already has big goals and plans for the team.
“One of my exuberant ideas was to have spreadsheets of the swimmers times to graph improvements and measure growth. My overarching goals are still the same, however, the process has changed,” Kendrick said. “I still want kids to feel they are part of a team, to have a healthy [and] happy team culture and for each student to improve.”
The swim team has big plans for their season and look forward to continuing to improve.