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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Wyoming's Little Swim and Dive Team That Could


Cheering for your friends during a swim meet looked (and sounded) a bit different in 2020.

Editor's Note:

As the Wyoming Rec Center Aquatic Center did not open this summer, they did not have a swim team. Thankfully, many families from the Rec Center did join the Swim Club to participate on the team, bringing together lots of new and familiar faces for the sole purpose of having a season to safely swim and dive. Everyone we spoke with was looking forward to a summer when the “Fun Meet” between Wyoming’s two teams can safely happen once again. 


Making the impossible possible in summer 2020 was the Wyoming Swim Club Swordfish Swim and Dive Team. 

The odds were stacked against the season from the start, but with hard work from the volunteers, dedication from the Wyoming Swim Club, positive attitudes from a team of coaches, and loads of guidelines from the USA Swimming organization, the Wyoming Swim Club Swordfish had an amazing summer season, even winning first place in their division!

Charlotte learned to dive this summer with much support from onlooking Coach Bo (a.k.a. Grandpa). 

As a member of the Private Pool Swim League (PPSL), the Wyoming Swim Club planned with other Cincinnati clubs for a season in which every swim and dive meet would be virtual – meaning, the swim times and dive scores were entered into a computer program and merged with the competing team’s times and scores without ever leaving the home pool. Due to the virtual nature, there was flexibility in scheduling the swim and dive meets, and some were even held in the mornings during practice time (so no late nights for the youngest swimmers and divers!). 

There were a lot of challenges in a pandemic season – limited spectators, staggered practice times, reduced density in swim lanes, and maintaining social distancing on the deck (even in the naturally socially distanced sport of diving this could be tough). But out of such challenges also came a lot of creative problem solving - every meet had new costume themes, coaches found new ways to celebrate the individual achievements of all 80 swimmers and divers, and the season culminated with a virtual banquet and slideshow that families can keep forever. 

The youngest Swordfish wore their masks and enjoyed the down time between events. 

The creative forces found solutions to still have team photos (individual photos merged together), swimmers still had team treats (individually wrapped in packages), and the dive coaches still brought donuts to the final meet (because they are just that awesome).  

Was it the same? Nope, not even close. 

Did swimmers and divers miss some of the Swordfish traditions? Yes, absolutely. 

But ask any swimmer or diver, parent or coach, what was the best thing about their summer? The answers are the same: the Swordfish season made summer feel more “normal” – and that will forever be the best part of 2020.

Dive team is a socially distant sport every year, but Carson, Will, and Walker gave special attention to the six foot spacing while waiting their turn on the board. 

There was plenty of space behind the starting blocks during swim meets – which was one of the craziest observations from volunteers and swimmers alike!

The swim coaches dressed up for the Disney meet and donned their matching lifeguard masks.  

The Frey family participated in both swim and dive teams, earning multiple awards for all the hard work during the virtual banquet – congrats!

Dana was working hard to perfect her butterfly.

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