Swimming into the season

Swim team has first meet

Viper+swim+team+competes+at+last+year%27s+first+meet+of+the+season.

Sarah Tierney

Viper swim team competes at last year’s first meet of the season.

Arabella Villarroel, Staff Reporter

The swim team is competing in their first swim meet of the season today at the Bella Mar pool, their home pool, in Steiner Ranch. The team is swimming against Westwood and McNeil.

“They are two of the top teams, and if we can beat them that would be a good place for us to be at the start of the season,” sophomore Josh Bedford said.

Everyone will wear masks. The teams will be staying apart from each other. Only one student will be allowed on the swim block at a time and the timers will be spaced out behind them. The next swimmers to race will wait until the swimmers before them have all cleared out and then they will be allowed to take their positions.

“[For practices] the format is two swimmers on each side of the pool,” junior and captain Julian Yang said. “We’ve used the entire pool instead of the 10 inch lanes.”

According to coach Lisa Denison, this first meet is sanctioned by USA Swimming. They are the national governing body over all U.S competitive swimming. This means all the swimmer’s times will count as official times in the U.S Swimming database.

“For this meet, I’m telling my swimmers to have lots of grace on themselves,” Denison said. “We are under new circumstances and we haven’t been able to have as many practices as we normally would.”

The team is supportive of each other and usually cheers on each of their members from around  the lane they are swimming in. But due to COVID-19, for this meet, they won’t be able to do it as usual. 

“I’ve learned from the swim team that even if you don’t have a good race you have to keep the morale up,” Yang said.

The swimmers have also sacrificed Team Day to COVID, where the entire team gets together to practice, because it would cause too many people to be at the pool at once.

“That was the day when we could practice all the relay starts and things for later in the season,” Bedford said. “The team betters from it because we can practice together and build team chemistry.”

The swimmers, like senior and captain Alexis Grossman, practice everyday. They do a combination of dry land workouts, like push ups or running, and swimming  or practicing in the water.

“It’s a huge commitment, a lot of getting used to,” Grossman said. “You really have to train your body to get used to it.” 

Despite setbacks and less training sessions as a team, the swimmers are determined to make the most of their first meet, together. 

“Being a part of something bigger than you is more important than anything you could do individually,” Grossman said. “It means more to be there for your teammates than it means to do something by yourself.”