Swim team stays strong despite challenges


photo by Leila Rydell

Matthew Bowers, class of 2021, swims 100-yard breaststroke event at Boylan. Bowers swam in middle school and has finally returned after two years. “I enjoy it a lot [be]cause it’s something new. It’s competitive and I made new friends.”

Leila Rydell, Chief Photographer

 The East High School boy’s swimming season started back in the first week of December. They since have been faced with many challenges. However, the team still has high hopes going into the rest of their season.

   As of Monday, Jan. 13th, East’s pool was closed due to unsafe pH levels. This not only put the boys out of practice time in the water, but it also could have interfered with a swim meet on Thursday, Jan. 16th at East. Principal Jim Parker has confirmed the pool was shocked and able to be opened again just in time for the meet.

   The swim team has a total of eleven athletes. With such small numbers, it is hard to divide the boys up into a junior varsity and varsity team. Still they do not let their size defeat them. 

   “Size does matter. Goals are to finish strong. We are small but mighty with some great swimmers. Sophomore/freshman boys are looking to break the 200 free relay, and they are close to it,” said Amy Taylor, head coach.

   On Dec. 7th, the Harlem Invite was the first set of events the boys took place in as a team, and they finished sixth overall. A few weeks later, on Dec. 21st, East hosted the Lopin Relays where they placed fourth as a team. Then, on Dec. 27th, East participated and placed ninth in the Boylan Bash.

   On top of challenges with the size of their team, the captain, Jack Bathje was not able to begin his season in the pool alongside the team due to an injury. However, he still supports his team and is present at events. With it being over a month since the season began, Bathje is finally getting back into the practice routine. 

   “I feel like I was able to give more moral support when I was there not swimming,” said  Bathje.

   Looking on the brighter side of things, the team gained four new athletes this year. 

   “The season is going good. Having not swam for two years now, I’m looking forward to the following opportunities,” said Matthew Bowers, class of 2021 and new member to the team.

   In addition to the newcomers, East also has a second year diver. Ethan Sund, class of 2022, is the first diver East has had since the early 90’s.

  “Having a diver gives us more points starting a meet, which is a huge help,” commented coach Taylor.