Sink or Swim: The Uncertainty Surrounding This Year's Swim Season
Imagine standing behind the block getting ready for your race to begin, the loud shouts of parents and friends echoing throughout the building. Then imagine the exact opposite, a dead quiet building and no one in the stands. For the Lakeside Swim and Dive team, this isn’t something they have to imagine, but actually experience. In a non-pandemic year the swim and dive schedule would be filled with dual meets, invitational meets, team breakfasts and socials, and the annual McCallie travel trip. With COVID-19 cases rising as the season crept closer, the invitationals, breakfasts, socials, and McCallie trip were all canceled, leaving only the dual meets for the team.
Dual meets are split into two different sessions, a girl’s session and a boy’s session. This created a different environment from the one the swimmers have been accustomed to from past seasons. “The most difficult difference for me to wrap my head around is having separate sessions for the girls, boys, and divers. I love holding my heat sheet at the ends of lanes and cheering everyone on, not just the girls,” said junior Audrey Bender. For newcomers to the team, they haven’t been able to experience the different team events and excitement of a crowded natatorium that the older swimmers know and love. “I wish I was able to experience that this year, but even though we haven’t been able to have the team events, so many of the older girls on the team have been so kind. Their kindness has made me feel so much more like a part of the team,” said freshman Sophia Hook.
With the invitationals being removed from the schedule, it significantly decreased the number of chances the swimmers would have to race and reach their best times or get their state cuts. Before any postponements were announced, the team had eight dual meets, but the first three were postponed with only one being rescheduled. The meet scheduled for January 7th was also postponed due to pool complications at both Lakeside and Chamblee. “There has been a lot of uncertainty about which meets are going to take place and which are not,” said senior Isabelle Jones, one of the captains. “I’m just hoping that we are able to have high school state in February so that we can break some records!”