Life in the fast lane

The LM Swim & Dive team had a successful season, despite being faced with challenges of to the pandemic. They made LM history and qualified for championship meets in their return to a semi-normal season.

As the winter sports season begins its final lap, it’s important to recognize the major success the swim team has had this year and what’s still to come in the future for LM Swim and Dive.

Alan Chen ’24 is a member of the varsity swim team with a bright future ahead of him. However, this season was different from “normal.” Chen reports how “despite the rise of COVID-19 and Omicron, the team has continued to practice and compete.” Even though swimming is a very high-risk sport because it takes place inside and competitors are not able to wear masks while they compete, the team has managed to make practices safe in a variety of ways despite the threat of COVID-19. The team has been able to stay consistent with their daily swim practices along with their weight training. Chen mentions that “everyone has been putting in a lot of work” in spite of the ongoing threat of the pandemic. Chen, who also runs cross country and track, declares that the practices on the swim team are “higher maintenance than running” and more tiring even with COVID-19. Besides the capacity of spectators at events being restricted to only 25 percent, competitions have stayed relatively normal and competitive. He also notes that throughout the season, the team has had incredible spirit and support for its members in spite of the complications. The only place where the pandemic has truly hurt the team is in the cancellation of their weekly spirit dinners. Regardless, swimming, one of the most risky sports to play while in the middle of a pandemic, has been able to overcome COVID-19 and continue to push forwards.

Chen has had a very successful season this year. He states how he has improved greatly since the beginning of the swim season as well as from last year. This is true for many of his teammates on the boys’ swim team as well. Since they had a much less-established season last year, the return to a mostly normal season has been extremely successful, and most swimmers have shown prominent growth. In fact, the team, which won three of its five meets last year, went eight and three this season—a thirteen percent improvement. Meets are scored by giving a certain amount of points to teams depending on which place a player comes in during a race. Since many people compete in each meet, the dominance of LM means that the team as a whole has been swimming well, not just a few standout players. There are a total of 25 swimmers on the boys team, and twelve of them qualified for the Central League Championship meet. Out of those twelve elite swimmers, six of them had times that make them candidates for the highly prestigious Districts meet. Chen says that they “have a very strong group of swimmers” and that their hard work has been paying off.

In addition to individual successes, the team has dominated the relays as well, as all three have qualified for Centrals and have also been considered for Districts. These include the 200 yd medley relay, the 200 yd free relay, and the 400 yd free relay, which have made LM history. A crucial group of seniors including captains Phillip Gao ’22 and Aaron Levine ’22 are some of the most dominant contributors to these races.

The Central League Championship took place on February 10-11 and the Districts meet is in early March. The team looks forward to a strong finish as they close out their season with Districts. This winter season, the swim team has dominated its meets and had teammates qualify for reputable competitions. They’ve overcome COVID-19 in their practices and worked hard to reach victory. The season has been an undeniable success.

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