Boy’s Swim and Dive Team Wins First Meet, as Spring Sports Return to Neuqua


Sachin Fong

Swimmer Ian Alamaugh prepares for an event during the first swim meet back.

This past Wednesday, Feb. 4th, the Neuqua Valley High School Boys Swim Team had a meet against Naperville North High School, which they won. This marks the first swim meet and first spring sporting event at Neuqua since last school year was cut short by COVID-19. After months of uncertainty about the seasons of spring sports, on Jan. 27th, the IHSA announced spring sports would return and posted schedules for football, baseball, basketball, swimming and many other sports which were previously postponed.
With swimming classified as a low risk sport, not much has changed for swim meets. “It’s pretty much the same… I think swim is a good sport to have during COVID,” said sophomore swimmer Ian

Swimmers prepare to start off the 500 freestyle. (Sachin Fong)

in regards to the atmosphere of the first swim meet..
One significant difference was the lack of fans in the stands. Swim meets are usually loud with parents and spectators chattering and cheering during every event. There was a strict 50 person limit on the pool deck, eliminating any fans from watching.
One positive the team has found during these odd times is the benefit of socially-distanced practice. “Finding the silver lining in this… we have a lot more time individually in the pool… it’s easier with not as many athletes at a time,” Diving coach Peter Rusenas said about the changes to practice and procedure of the team.
Although swim is very low-contact, the team has made some changes during practice. The pool lanes are wider than they were pre-COVID, to prevent any chance of clumping. “There’s more space in the lane, so it’s kind of nice in a way… but there’s definitely less socializing with the team,” Alumbaugh said about more of the atmosphere during practice.

Swimmers are required to wear masks any time they are not in the pool. (Sachin Fong)

Staying in shape during the offseason was a challenge. “Club swimming has been a real benefit for those who can take advantage,” said Rusenas. With many pools closed, swimmers had to find their own pools and others relied on their club season. Like many other Neuqua teams during the hiatus of sports, the team held Zoom workouts to guide athletes trying to stay ready for the season.
“Personally a lot of mental training… so you’re keeping your mind ready.” Rusenas added to the process of offseason training. Good luck to the Boy’s Swim and Dive Team on this odd, new season.