Swimming Through the Pandemic


Michael Thompson, Writer

     After more than a year, the North Creek Jaguars swim team takes to the water, only this year they will race the clock instead of other swimmers. On April 5th, 2021, Jaguars hit the pool for their first in-person, in-pool practice of the season.  

     One noticeable change is the time of these practices, which are now being held late at night.  Senior Co-Captain Nolan Clayton views this change with a silver lining.

     “Late night practices are nice—more players will turn out,” said Clayton.  

     However, Senior Co-Captain Nathaniel Ly has a different view about the restructured virtual swim meets. 

     “Swim, as a high school sport, is really communal and I’m glad that we are still able to have a season. With that being said, COVID has left the swimmers who don’t participate in a club in terrible shape so the prospect of ever setting a Personal Record this season has been completely left out the door,” said Ly.

      Another major change this season has to do with who is able to come to the swim meets for competition.  To lower the number of people congregating, the swim meets will be limited to just coaches and participants of one school at a time, essentially creating a time-trial event and not head-to-head competition. This will have an impact on the excitement felt at these normally high-energy events. 

     The usually rowdy and energetic atmosphere at meets will no longer be present. Competitions feel more like time trials and an opportunity to assess my fitness rather than a race to score points for the school,” said Ly.  Without having an opponent to swim against will be very different, “I think it will be a little weird because we have always raced against others in the pool,” said Nolan.  

     Interestingly Ly and Clayton had different views on whether or not these changes would have a positive or negative impact on their season.  While Clayton thinks that not having an intimidating competitor staring him down, it may help him relax and be more comfortable. 

   However, Ly opposes these changes. “For me, this is clearly a negative as it removes an aspect of swimming that I have come to look forward to. However, I understand the difficulty in mitigating the spread of covid, especially for a sport that is as typically underfunded as a Northshore School District swim program,” said Ly

  The results will be the final verdict on this season! Even with all these changes, the delay in season and the lack of rowdy atmosphere, both swimmers are excited to be back in the pool with their teammates.  

      For Ly, this season is a change to get back to something normal in his pre-pandemic life. “It is extremely exciting to be able to see all the boys once again after well over a year and get back into the activities that once were so prevalent in life prior to the start of the pandemic.”  Clayton is also grateful for the season, being with his friends and partnering with Ly as a co-captain, in his senior year.”  Anticipation is rising as the swimmers take to the pool and the season begins.