Swim team faces inconveniences

Sophomore+Tabatha+Buthcer+swims+an+event+at+the+OCC+PC+Invitational+tournament.

Hailey Williams, Smoke rings

Sophomore Tabatha Buthcer swims an event at the OCC PC Invitational tournament.

People hardly appreciate what they have until they don’t have it anymore. This being said, the swim team didn’t think they would ever have the problem of a missing pool — until this year.

The Simmons Center pool was closed on Dec. 6 due to a problem with a new liner that was put into the pool.

“There was a leak in it,” swim coach Andrew Bowers said. “One thing led to another and they had to rebuild the pool from scratch.”

Due to the unavailability of the Simmons Center pool, the team had to find alternative methods and a location for practicing. Before Christmas, the team practiced at the Edge, where they ran and did core exercises, or land practice. This kept them in shape, but the sport highly relies on the presence of a pool.

“It was pretty frustrating,” senior Damon Demar said. “Since the sport is all about swimming, without a pool we can’t really do much.”

Junior Leah Kafer felt that the absence of the Simmons Center pool made a big difference in the dynamics of the swim competition year.

“We’ve had a lot less time in the pool than most years,” Kafer said.

After Christmas break, the team started practicing in the Quality Inn pool. While the team was actually able to get in the water, it was still not up to par with their original pool.

“It was less than half the size of the Simmons Center pool,” Bowers said.

However, the team did not let the obstacles they faced hinder them. In fact, Demar felt that it helped bring everyone together as a team.

“Because the pool was smaller, we had to deal with and talk to each other more,” Demar said.

Bowers feels that both the girls and boys have done really well considering the season’s drawbacks.

“We adapted really well,” Bowers said. “It really didn’t affect us as much as I thought it would.”

The boys have won two meets and broken two school records from last year with only five boys on the team.

Demar has gone above and beyond to break a school record on the 50 freestyle, which hasn’t been broken for nine years.

“I didn’t expect it, but I was excited when I did,” Demar said.

The team returned to the Simmons Center on Jan. 22 and are now focusing on preparing for regionals and state coming up in Edmond. Regionals are on Feb. 7 and 8. State is on Feb. 21 and 22.

“We should fare pretty well,” Demar said.

While the team is working together for the upcoming meets, many individuals have personal goals for the rest of the season.

“I’m looking forward to more meets, improving my times and seeing others on the team improve,” Kafer said.

Swim has had to deal with a lot of change this year, but they believe that these changes have helped them for the better.

“[These obstacles] didn’t hurt us,” Bowers said, “but they helped us come closer as a team.”