Just Keep Swimming: East's Water Sports
The swimmers snap their swim caps to their heads, step up, wave, and take their marks on the diving blocks. The whistle blows and they dive into the water and streamline to the surface to start their first strokes. Coaches yell as they walk beside the pool following their swimmers and parents cheer on the sidelines. The swimmers touch the wall and East takes home another win.
East High School has a growing swim and dive team, although we don’t have a pool directly on campus, practices take place at Carla Madison Recreation Center. Swimmers are quite busy with everyday practices and meets that can last up to four hours. East Swimmers Won their league in 2018-19, they are striving for top 12th at state this year which would beat their last year's ranking of 17th. The East swim team is led by David Quintana (Dave, head coach) and Donald (Dray, assistant coach), they both coach outside of East as well as Tritons Club team. Swimming is mostly an individual sport, where most swimmers' goal is to beat their past time but they still rely on their coaches advice and support. The coaches offer guidance and keep their spirits high by “telling you to not look to your sides” and on longer races like the 500 “sing a song, so the race goes by faster.” said Kate Mcvey who normally swims long distance freestyle.
Swimming is fun, very competitive and like all team sports, they host team dinners. This makes them stronger swimmers due to how comfortable they are able to get with each other. Rashad who has been swimming for East all four years and for a club swim team his favorite part is “ the connections and chemistry that we have and made practice more fun.” This makes him believe that the team will only get better from here. The team most likely will continue to improve but competition is fierce, and most swimmers have been participating since early years. Caroline Kundahl swims backstroke and freestyle, “I have been swimming my whole life since I was four,” she also plans to continue swimming throughout college even though COVID came at prime recruiting time for the class of 2022.
Although COVID did pose a threat to the season by making practices hard to schedule and combining all DPS schools into one team. The team was able to keep practicing even with the Rec Centers staying closed. COVID also put a halt on the recruiting process, taking away many opportunities for these athletes to be discovered by colleges. However Doug Campbell a senior diver for East who also swims for a club team “the club coaches are the ones who have been really helpful getting me into college for diving.” With limited contact with East staff and facilities due to COVID athletes had to get help from outside programs/clubs if they wanted to swim or dive in college.
The team ends with another famous East cheer and heads to the locker rooms to shower and think about how well they did in their past race. This year with the help of East coaches and the Rec centers staying open, a new round of swimmers are joining the program. Hopefully more swimmers will have the opportunities to get recruited and have a full season.