The Swim Team is Setting the Bar

Practicing in a pool and only in spandex, always holding their breath, swim is certainly a unique sport.

McCoy Carlson, a lead swimmer for the male varsity team, has been swimming for most of his life. He shares his insight on the team’s chemistry, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

“We all get along good and we’re all friends– that’s really good for team chemistry. Not everyone is a really strong swimmer. Some just joined recently and they might not know everything,” Carlson said.

Although the swim season has not officially begun, workouts are held two times a week on the track. The team runs, does core exercises, and practices various drills in preparation for the upcoming season.

Heather Markuson, an ESL teacher, has recently begun coaching the team. She has not coached before, but is looking forward to the future season.

“Our swimmers are strong in the water and I’m looking forward to seeing our relay teams compete this year. We have several upperclassmen with years of experience and leadership abilities. Their willingness to welcome new team members and serve as leaders on our team are definite strengths. Our team is really good at supporting one another at meets from the ends of the lanes,” Markuson said.

Markuson both coaches and teaches at the same time.

“I enjoy watching kids participate and grow as individual student-athletes in swim. But my husband (who is a coach) encouraged me the most in this new endeavor at West. It’s an honor to have both titles, teacher and coach, considering I never expected to have either one. It’s challenge to balance responsibilities,” said Markuson.  “Every day is different, and I enjoy working with high school students.”

As the school does not house its own pool, the team has to travel to the Smithfield Aquatic Center for each practice. The extra traveling time makes swimming an even bigger commitment than it originally seems.

“I enjoy it because it was the first sport I really got into before football. I’ve been doing it all my life and i just really enjoy doing it because it’s different It’s in the water. It’s not running up and down a field, it’s swimming in the water–  it’s a different feeling,” said Carlson.