As everyone knows, the year 2020 was different, and The King’s Academy swim team was not exempt from these differences. Along with a new coach, this swim year was bound to be different than past years. However, the swimmers were cheerful and had fun nonetheless, and their new coach, Elizabeth Peace, led them to many victories.
There were not too many restrictions at practices due to the fact that chlorine in the water kills COVID-19. The swimmers are reasonably safe in the water, and the team has reduced the number of swimmers per lane as an added precaution. Spectators have not been allowed at meets in order to reduce crowd size.
“Every day we all come to practice and get our temperatures taken,” said Coach Peace. “We encourage them to stay home if anyone is sick, and people have been really good about that this year. We’re really thankful to not have had to hit pause.”
Many students have maintained a sense of normalcy in their swim routine.
“It wasn’t that different,” said Johnson. “All we had to do was wear a mask going up to the block, but it was pretty much the same.”
The swim team has changed coaches many times over the years, and this year’s unexpected COVID-19 changes brought about new obstacles, such as the absence of parents and other spectators at meets and masks required up to the diving block. However, Johnson says his experience on the team just keeps improving.
The team has not been able to have as many parties as they have in years prior, but the annual Christmas party still went on. In addition, the team occasionally goes out for Chick-fil-A or Dunkin’ Donuts after practices.
Along with the changes, the team has also had a number of victories and records broken.
The records broken include Boys’ Varsity freestyle and medley relays with Harper Johnson, Braeden Larson, Johnny Peterman, and Jackson Link. Additionally, Braeden Larson broke the 100 meter freestyle record, and Harper Johnson broke the 500 meter freestyle record.
“I have enjoyed every minute of [coaching],” said Coach Peace. “It’s been great as my first year getting to know all the kids and the parents, as well, and I really enjoyed it a whole lot.”
The King’s Academy’s swimmers have certainly had a harder year than usual, but they have come through it better than ever.
“I’m really proud of all of our swimmers this year,” said Coach Peace. “They’ve really worked hard, and it’s been really cool to see them improve individually, work hard at practice and rise to different challenges that we gave them. Lots of kids like to say the swim team’s a family, and, of course, that’s really special, too.”