Boys Swim Dives into the Fall II Season

There's no sinking feeling on this swim team.

There’s no sinking feeling on this swim team.

By Lilah Gutlerner (II), Staff Writer

Although Boston Latin School’s boys’ swim team got a later start than anticipated, the swimmers dove straight into their season, ready to give it their all. Normally a winter sport, the swim team had already been delayed to compete during the Fall II season, and it took almost an additional month for the city to clear the pool and approve of their start date.

While the team was eager to get right back in the pool, the extended off-season definitely had some drawbacks when it came to their physical fitness and conditioning. Captain Rick Li (I) explains how extensively the team had to train to make up for this lost time by swimming “about 3000-4000 yards (60-80 laps or 120-160 lengths of the pool) a practice now, which is about 1000 more than we used to with a heavy emphasis on endurance.”

Brought by the many new COVID-19 regulations in place, the team has to wear a mask at all times when not actively swimming and keep their pool deck cheering to a minimum. On top of that, the typically high-intensity swim meets have been stripped of all their competitive energy.

Swim meets now happen asynchronously, where each team swims and records their times in their own respective pools. The results are then compared but scores do not come back for multiple days. Understandably, this has made for a much more challenging bonding experience for the team.

Nicholas Black (III), however, remarks the new swim meet format has advantages to becoming even closer as a team. “They add a sense of mystery, we didn’t know how good the other team would do and that pushed everyone to bond more. Since we didn’t know about anything, everyone had to push each other that much harder to get the times that we wanted.”

Stefan Ngyuen (II), agrees with Black in the sense that this limited season encouraged the team to come together in ways they otherwise would not have. In his opinion, the lower pressure situations actually made it easier to connect with teammates, saying “As practices went by, we became more like a family, supporting each other to the end.”

It is amazing that teams were able to compete at any capacity this year, but that does not take away from how incredibly disappointing it has been of a final season for seniors. Li, however, has been able to remain grateful for his time swimming for BLS and is optimistic for the years to come.

“I’m proud that in my two years of captainship I’ve helped Coach Luis [Restituyo] build a real brotherhood on this team. It’s been a pleasure swimming at Boston Latin, and I couldn’t have asked to end it on a better note. I am confident that I am leaving this team with some bright young talent who can take us to the next level. Go Wolfpack!” concludes Li.