Article By: Evan Sacher
Santa Rosa High School in recent years has been a dominant force in the NBL for our swim team. Nearly undefeated for the most recent decade, the swimmers have torched their competition year in and year out. Their dominant record did not hold them immune to the effects on high school sports of the COVID-19 pandemic as their season was cancelled, discarding the high hopes among the team of continued dominance.
The team began their season with a meet Wednesday April 14th in Ukiah. “Unfortunately, our technique was rusty and Ukiah beat the Boys team by a hair but Rosa’s girls team destroyed Ukiah by a landslide,” said senior Nikolai Gurtovoy. Overall spirits are very high as the team looks to thrive this season against Ukiah and Montgomery during the three remaining meets of the season.
The swim program was put into the purple tier of sports in the NCS plans released in February. Joining cross country, golf, and tennis the swim team began their practices in early March. Similar to most sports this year, the swim team saw a noticeable decrease in the amount of athletes on the team. “we usually have around 60 people that want to join our team and this year we have around a total of under 30 people,” said senior Moreya Howell. “It’s sad to see that not as many people have joined this year but we still have an awesome group going!”
Aside from a significant drop in athletes, the swim team has seen the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main changes have been in the mask mandate until they enter the water. “Given the nature of our sport, we can’t wear masks while in the water, but due to our small team size, we are able to always stay spread out in the pool,” said Nikolai. “The hardest thing to adapt to is not being able to use the locker rooms where our boys team was known for singing at meets and practices while changing.”
Despite the traditions of the team not being able to continue, the team looks to further improve on their great start and add to the incredible legacy of the team as the season continues.