Swimming and diving surfs into the season with new MIAA changes

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Estella Cui

The team’s swimming caps that freshman received this weekend.

Estella Cui, Staff writer

A whistle echoes loudly throughout the pool. A row of eight swimmers step up onto the diving blocks, slapping their arms, adjusting goggles, and shaking out muscles. Behind the blocks, rows of swimmers swimming in the next few heats are lined up ready for their race. But this year, just like everything else, the protocols at the pool have changed.

These changes have impacted swimming and diving and caused them to lose the usual energy that comes with games, meets, or matches.

“There have been so many changes to how we swim this winter, including finding a new available pool, breaking into four training groups that work out at off times, and racing virtually,” Girls’ head coach Catilin Klick said.

Each year, the swim and dive team enjoys training and competing at the pool located in UMass Lowell. However, since the pool is not allowing outside swimmers to utilize it, the team had to find a new facility to house their practices in. But, the Lowell YMCA offered the team some time slots to train.

According to Klick and the rest of the coaching staff, the changes are not ideal but the swimmers and divers are taking on these changes with no problem. One of the team captains, Kylie Hoar, expresses her feelings as well.

“I have felt very safe at meets and practices,” Hoar said. “The team has been very dedicated to following all of the MIAA and school guidelines, and we have also taken on additional regulations set by our training facilities.”

This past weekend, the swim and dive teams competed against Concord-Carlisle in their first meet of the season. Usually, at duel meets, both teams would be present and lots of cheering and rivalry would be going on in the water and on deck. But, this year, meets had to be held virtually according to MIAA requirements.

“We had to find a way to push ourselves, not knowing what kind of times or scores the other team would be posting,” Klick says.

Regardless of the requirements and changes the teams have, the teams are also grateful. They are confident of another fruitful season ahead of them, hopefully adding a sixth year to their undefeated streak.

“Although things are very different than years past,” Hoar said. “We are having so much fun being back together in the water and we are so excited to continue practicing and competing, safely, as a team.”