Swimming through sickness

Coach Shari Walling sets out buckets every practice for any boys who happen to vomit during a set. These buckets were used often during the week the boys became sick.

Niki Ferguson, Staff Writer

Looking back at the past few weeks of practice, there was something missing. The coaches were there, the lane ropes were in, kickboards and pull-buoys set out, but not as many. The spaces of open water should have been filled with swimmers. The weeks after Thanksgiving break sickness spread through the swim team.

“All I can say is that if you see someone sneezing in the halls, stay away from them,” senior Dylan Johnson said.

Johnson was not the only swimmer to become ill the week before the Ames Invite this past weekend.

“Most of us had the same cold I think,” junior Alex Clark said. Both Johnson and Clark said it was mainly a head-cold, with congestion, headache, cough and exhaustion.

“(Coach) Shari (Walling) had everybody raise their hand if they had been feeling sick over that week and almost everyone, except for like four people, raised their hand out of a [varsity] team of 16,” Johnson said.

Being and staying healthy is not as easy as it seems when the weather is constantly switching from warm to freezing every other week.

“It’s not unusual for the beginning of boys’ season,” coach Shari Walling said. “They’re tired.”

Sleep takes second place to practices and homework, even though it is crucial for a quick recovery.

“[The practices are] still pretty tough,” Clark said. “She’s not taking it easy on us.”

Despite not having most of the team be in racing condition, the boys’ swim team remains undefeated after winning the Ames Invite by 37 points. The team is currently seated second in the state to Dowling Catholic by 31 points, according to power point rankings.

“State is about having stars, while duel season is about having depth,” Clark said. “That’s why we’re usually ranked higher.”

Being seated first is different than actually winning the state meet, however. None of the power rankings that are shown through the season have any affects on the state meet results. Winning the state meet is all about performing under the pressure, not the duel meets or invitationals leading up to it.

“[Winning state is] always a possibility,” Walling said. “It’s a crazy tough grouping [this year].”