Boys swim and dive adapts to challenges on the way to strong season

Team uses camaraderie and drive to reach new heights.

By Julia Barker, Features Editor

Lawrence High’s boys swim and dive overcame many challenges this season as it shifted more towards normalcy from last year’s season.

Last season, boys swim and dive struggled with strict mandates due to COVID-19. Although it has loosened up this year, there were still safety regulations that had to be followed.

There were some close calls of exposure this season and struggles with social distancing, but the swim team was able to remain safe through prioritizing masks and being flexible.

“COVID was the biggest challenge with the way we had to do things differently and always be careful not to get exposed to it,” swim coach Kent McDonald said. “We had to stay flexible, ready for change at any moment, whether that was the bus schedule, the time or place of a meet or anything affecting the health of the team.”

Regardless of the challenges the team faced, there was substantial growth this season. The swimmers were more connected this season, growing in sportsmanship.

“This year there was a lot of camaraderie and drive to really compete at a level as a team as opposed to just individuals competing in their own events,” junior Chris Oral said.

The team also held team dinners and Saturday practices that gave opportunities for the group to grow closer.

Maya Smith

“Team dinners and Saturday practices are always fun,” junior Maximillian Whittaker said. “There’s more time to cooperate and grow relationships with the other members of the team.”

With new additions to the team, the season was quite successful. There were many personal bests this season while competing at Sunflower League Championships and at events towards the end of the season.

“This year’s team has been a lot of new swimmers and they have stepped up to the challenge of swimming and really done well,” McDonald said. “Last year we had more veteran swimmers and they had to work through all of the COVID mandates and swim well in spite of the obstacles. We have done much better this year, with a larger team and a faster team.”

The boys swim and dive team was able to make successful progress and score well for the team this season.

“We’ve been scoring the highest we ever had since I’ve been here and the last time we were scoring this high was 5 or 6 years ago, so it’s been a really good season,” Oral said.