Broken Pool Gets AHS Swim Off to a Slow Start
A couple of weeks after the spring sport season began, the AHS pool became unavailable for the swim team to use during their practices, and now the group is feeling the effects.
Swimmers were forced to use the pool at Irvington High School from six to eight, instead of their usual after-school practice. Although administrators and coaches did not provide any explanations for the closure of the pool, students have their own speculations.
“I haven’t really heard much about the mystery of the broken pool, but what I can say about it was that the heater broke and the pool was freezing cold,” senior Silvia Chen said. “Also there were some rumors about how the chlorine was messed up too, turning the pool water into an ugly gray color.”
Despite the uncertainty among athletes, their opinions were close to what really happened.
“The two boilers were down,” Principal Mr. Bailey said. “We contacted the district and they took it over, considering if they could replace it or fix it. They brought in rental ones, since putting in the new ones would have taken longer. The pool is perfectly fine now.”
On the other hand, some students were more irritated by the lack of communication rather than the actual condition of the pool. In fact, the lack of communication is what irritated a lot of the athletes, rather than the condition of the pool facilities.
“We didn’t really know anything,” senior Annie Pan said. “I couldn’t understand why they didn’t tell us. We only heard about it from people who are close to the coaches.”
With Irvington’s pool being farther and smaller than American’s own pool, many people were discouraged from attending practices, as the number of people dropped from about forty to about twenty during the weeks of off-campus practices.
“Swimming at Irvington was a much farther drive,” senior Jacqueline Barnes said. “Practice was also cut down in time and was much later in the evening. As a result we lost many of our lowerclassmen and the team is much smaller than it has been in previous years.”
However, the lowerclassmen were not the only ones to jump ship; even upperclassmen were turned off by the pool’s temporary closure.
“I actually quit the team when the pool broke,” senior Lucy Huang said. “When the pool broke and they said we were going to Irvington for night practices, that was kind of the final straw.”
The decrease in swimming participation has had an influence on meet results as so far, the team has had a losing record in league meets.
“The coaches don’t know who comes, so at meets people swim random events, not their specialities,” Pan said. “We win some individual events, but not usually meets.”
Despite all the adversity faced this season, those who remain a part of the team stay optimistic and undaunted.
“A lot of swimmers made their best efforts to practice,” Chen said. “I can say, practicing at American or not at American, our attitudes never change when it comes to a meet. We always do the best we can and support each other as a family.”
Much to the relief of the swimmers, a couple of weeks ago, the pool was fixed and practices resumed at AHS.
“It feels amazing to be back in a pool that we can call home,” Chen said. “The American pool has been a part of us for as long as I can remember. To be able to dive on non-wobbly diving blocks, to be able to swim in a perfectly set lane line, to be able to flip turn without fear of hitting your head, it feels great to be back home.”