By SHAGUFTA HAQUE – December 7, 2020, marked the beginning of the IHS swimming and diving season which got suspended three days later until January 4, 2021, according to Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement.
It comes as no surprise that the team has been facing challenges because of the pandemic. The coaches as well as the swimmers and divers have managed to maintain social distancing at all times. In an effort to do so, swimmers have been separated in different lanes and are practicing at IUP Zink Fieldhouse while the divers are practicing without a hot tub and a locker room.
Junior Abigail Killam describes, “Another big change is the entrance system – we get our temperature checked and then go to our assigned spot around the pool deck to answer screening questions before being dismissed by lane to get in the water, then exit by lane as well.”
Because of the COVID-19 situation, several former swimmers and divers have decided not to partake in the sport this year, leaving more room for newcomers to join. Sophomore Emma Grim encourages, “My advice to newcomers this year is that even though swimming is hard work, it’s a super fun sport and all the practices and training are completely worth it. Don’t give up!”
Due to 2020 being 2020, it is difficult not to lose hope. The IHS swimming and diving team has, however, not been discouraged. They have been attending practices as regularly as possible and will resume on January 4, 2021.
“I’m really excited that we get a season at all, especially for the seniors, who have put so much into the team. Swimming is an opportunity to get in shape, hang out with friends, build a community, and experience hard work and competition!” says Killam.
This year is important for seniors since it’s their last year to experience anything and everything in the high school. Senior Allie Rutledge mentions, “I will miss the bus rides, getting rides after meets, and singing in the locker room the most!” when reflecting on some of the fun times she’s had in her diving journey.
For the sake of newcomers and seniors, the swimming and diving team can only hope to get a full season.
[Photo courtesy of Allie Rutledge]
Photo caption: “Diver Allie Rutledge warms up before practice.“
Shagufta is a senior and a first-year reporter for the High Arrow who plays on the high school tennis team, is a member of the Science Club, and enjoys writing more than anything. As a first-year reporter for the High Arrow, she wants to be able to provide others with entertaining and informative articles to read.