Middle School Swimming

Alex Dabbous, Writer

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In Middle School, a group of students, including me, decided that they wanted to have a swim team, quickly creating a buzz that spread to the parents, who made the dream possible. We had to get LA Fitness memberships and appropriate materials, and then we were ready to be on the team. The team was made up of regular competition swimmers, people who had actually swum in meets and the newcomers.

The start of this project was rather rocky. The times for practices at the LA Fitness were from 6:30 am to 7:45 am, which made out for a truly painful 7-hour school day. This was very troublesome for those on the team that lived far away, AKA the majority of the team. The other problem was the pool, which was eerie and filled with too much chlorine. Not only that, but the pool was also very poorly maintained. For example, when a tiny splash would be made, water would start foaming ten feet within that area. Soon enough, however, the team got used to the pool and things were going smoothly.

It was soon time for our first meet, and the new kids on the team who had never gone to a swim meet were starting to get frightened. Thankfully, they survived the horror. Our team of 14 swimmers outlasted all the other teams. Not long after, we had our second meet and demolished the competition in our Christmas event. When we got back after Christmas break, we received great news: we would get to move to different pools. This made us extremely excited since we all hated going to the LA Fitness pool. We now had practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Tuesday mornings would be from 6:30-7:45 at the Four Seasons, and on Thursday afternoons at Northlake College from 4:00-5:00. Things were starting to look up; the practice was definitely grueling, but at least we had good training conditions. After returning to school, we invested our time in just training for our final meet. All of our practices were dedicated to dives and trying to beat our original times. We also had school practices though, so we always returned home tired and sore. It was especially hard to keep awake in the classes that we didn’t particularly like.

When it came time for the finals, everyone was very nervous.  But everything turned out well; our team had so many golds and silvers that we didn’t know what to do with them. When the end of the meet arrived, we were all doubting ourselves, but we achieved first place and won by 75 points. Now that the season is over, the team is wondering what will become of it next year. All in all, this was an incredibly successful first year, and we’d be glad to have more students join next year. “Overall, Cistercian did extremely well in the competition and we pretty much wiped the floor with the competition,” said star swimmer, Nicolas Ringdahl. He is quite modest in his swimming abilities even though they are great.

The amount of spirit we had on the team was great too. No one yelled at each other when we messed up. During the races, even when a teammate was lagging behind, everyone encouraged him to speed up. No one yelled at him and told him he was too slow or anything like that. After we beat people, we were quite gracious in victory. We really would love for more students to join next year. It builds camaraderie and is a really fun experience for everyone involved, even if it includes doing work.

 

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