Swim team hopes to improve on logistical issues


Courtesy of Riley Browning

Senior Riley Browning dives into the water to compete at the GHSA Swim championship.

Farris Duwayri

Last year, the Midtown swim team dealt with logistical issues such as lack of pool space. This impacted their practice schedule and greatly reduced the amount of time spent practicing as a team. This year they’re looking to bounce back.

“Last year we had to fight for pool space and we rarely had practice,” sophomore Daniel Spickert said. “Lifeguards weren’t available, pool maintenance was down and covid restrictions were high.”

Head coach Adrienne Wesley felt one of the main problems that the team is facing is a lack of pool space and having to share with six other schools because APS only owns one pool. This causes Midtown swimmers to practice less than they would like.

“We really need a pool,” Wesley said. “Not having adequate practice space limits our ability to practice more and we could do more and be in [a] better space if we were not limited to a really small time of practice. If we don’t have adequate pool space, it hinders what our program could really do.”

100-meter freestyle state champion and senior Jory Richardson stresses her opinion on how the lack of pool space affected the team last year.

“It had a pretty big impact,” Richardson said. “Cutting off half your practice every day really affects people when they don’t swim that much year-round.”

Along with not having practice space last year, Covid-19 restrictions limited the team in many ways,  like having to limit the roster.

“It was really a ripple effect,” Assistant coach Melissa Brown said. “Covid really restrained us and gave us limitations. [We had to] cut the roster down because we couldn’t have too many people on the team. [We were] not allowed to have parents at swim meets.”

Richardson felt Covid restrictions were tough on the team’s bonding and negatively affected connections within the team.

“With covid, there were still a lot of restrictions, so we weren’t able to do much team bonding or team practices and our meets were limited,” Richardson said.

That lack of team bonding, specifically with freshmen, affected the atmosphere and strength of the team as a whole.

“We never really got the momentum to carry through the season,” Spickert said. “It was really hard to improve throughout the season.” 

Wesley believes the upperclassmen have the potential to lead this year with strong performances. 

“The seniors are amazing,” Wesley said. “Each of the seniors has all been on the state team since they came in high school and they have [set] team records.

The team has already started captain-led practices before the start of the official season. This will help start the season on a good note and will help state qualifying.

“We’re starting captain-led practices earlier so [the season] should go better,” Richardson said. “This year we should really aim to get more people to state.”

The incoming freshman class is also going to make a big impact on the team this year and in the future. 

“The freshmen are amazing and some of them have already beat some records we have at the middle school (Howard),” Wesley said. 

The team is confident that this could be one of the best years yet and the swimmers could go far.

“This is going to be the best year we’ve ever had,” Wesley said. “It’s going to be a really good season and I’m looking forward to us doing well. Our goal is going to be to win state.”