Viking Saga

A Season of Splashes

Looking back at the girls swim team season dynamic

Sydney Lapham

One swimmer stands at the end of each lane and the other stands six feet behind. Masks stay on until seconds before getting in the water. Once the swimmer climbs out, the mask is instantly back on. For ELHS
swimmers, this is an average day in the pool. This year, the girls swim team took on a different dynamic to overcome the challenges, like lack of crowds and virtual meets. But to stay safe and have a strong season, athletes performed best while complying to safety measures. Looking back at the girls season, captain and
junior Nikki Hahn feels lucky to have had a season without any C O V I D – 1 9 cases occuring.
“There were many highs and lows throughout the season. It was definitely hard to watch our season grow
more limited as the COVID-19 s i t u a t i o n worsened, and with shorter practices, it was harder to maintain peak performance,” said Hahn.
“The girls season was a trial run for the boys season,” said sophomore swimmer Eric Wang, “but their downfalls and successes made us more aware of what to expect this season.” The girls team was first back in the pool. According to Hahn, everyone was happy to have the normalcy of being back in the water.
“There were a lot of positives too. Even getting close to our best times, which happened a lot, was motivating, because it showed us that this was something we would eventually be able to recover from,”
said Hahn.
Virtual meets were still meets nonetheless.

These were conducted similarly to mock meets, where the team would compete against itself to see what times could be achieved. An official would attend and the swimmers would compete. The times were
recorded digitally.
“The meet times would be compared, but it would take some time to get results back. This made us anxious, but eager to hear the outcome,” said girls assistant coach Holly Buckley.

Competition was more flexible. For example, EL could swim on a Monday, and the competing school could swim two days after. The results would be compared and the meet winner would be declared. Even with the
challenges, the team remained undefeated. “The captains were great role models and lane leaders this year. They showed leadership and created a good atmosphere, even in times like these,” said Ms. Buckley. The goal for captains this year was finding a way to motivate everyone.
“It’s hard to get pumped up for meets without any physical competitors, so we tried
to counteract that by encouraging everyone to cheer and try to keep that sense of hype
and team spirit,” said Hahn.

Team bonding had always been a priority for the swimmers. A harmonious rapport between teammates is key to a positive environment and strong work ethic. Creating this synergy was trickier this year compared
to others. Pasta parties were off the table, but the team used their creativity to find new ways to bond. The team would host zoom calls, and they hosted a tie-dye day at the end of the season. Everyone was provided their own tables, socially distanced, and masks were required.

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