MHS girls splash into swim and dive season

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Photo courtesy of Victoria Adams

MHS’ swim captains on their Senior Night against Lakeland with Coach James Schuler

Claire Adams, Staff Writer

The Girls Swim and Dive team has been working very hard this season. They had a bit of a rough start, considering the fact that indoor pools were not open; this year was like none from the past. Towards the end of June, the captains of the swim team put together safe summer workouts. The team was encouraged to participate in lake swims at Harvey Lake or swim in teammates’ pools along with dryland exercises. This was an activity most people enjoyed because it gave them a glimpse of hope towards their season that at the time they were unsure was even going to happen. Senior Cassidy Pakkala said, “The summer workouts were a great way to have fun and spend time with my team.” As the season got closer, they began practicing at a local outdoor pool in the mornings. In early August, the team found out that they would be getting a new head swim coach. Coach James Schuler, formally from Rochester Hills High School, is now coaching the team.

A new head coach can bring both positives and challenges;the swimmers have to adapt to new and different ways of practicing. Sophomore Sophia Bergeska said, “Having a new coach this season has helped me become a better swimmer because of the different sets we do.” New is not always bad; when a new coach comes along it can be exciting for some because they may find new ways to help the athlete succeed. The new head coach, Schuler,  is ready to encourage athletes to do their best and motivate them throughout the season. Freshman Victoria Adams stated, “Coach James has helped me improve my strokes and get better overall.”

This year, swimming and diving is being held a little bit differently due to COVID-19. Swimmers and divers have to socially distance themselves from each other at all practices. Being the only fall sport that does not have to wear masks at all times (because swimmers and divers are in the water) means that there can only be two to three athletes per lane while making sure that they are spread apart enough in the pool while swimming laps. Divers are not that much different; luckily, they stay spread apart on the pool deck and go one by one off the diving board. When the team is not actively exercising in the water,they must have a mask on while standing on the pool deck. During a meet, all athletes wear masks unless they are in the water, and before each event, athletes take their masks off and put them in a labeled and sealed bag so it does not touch anyone else’s mask. After their event is over, they dry off and immediately put a  mask back on.

Despite all the changes, the girls team is still very motivated and is striving to be better. Sophomore Megan Scalabassilaire stated that “she is excited to learn how to dive and compete.” Megan is a new diver this year but has experience with gymnastics and is ready to learn the ways of dive. The Milford Girls Swim and Dive team has a large range of different skill levels–some are beginners while others are more experienced. No matter what skill level a swimmer or diver is at, all team members compete in the meets. Freshman Victoria Adams said she’s , “looking forward to meeting new friends, getting better at swimming and getting to swim with my sister, Claire Adams.” The swimmers and divers are ready to give this season their all and have fun.Senior Cassidy Pakkala said, “I’m excited to make my last swim season the best season our team has ever had!”