Aspen swim teams leaps back into pool despite COVID 19


The Aspen Club Team during a practice in the 2019/20 season.

While the high school season has not yet begun, AHS swimmers are working together with the Aspen Swim Club to dive back into the pool. COVID-19 has made it difficult for most sports to get back onto the schedule, but swimming has specific challenges like limited lane space, construction that is taking place in the Arc, and the inability to wear a mask while in the water.

This year’s high school season, although delayed, will start January 4th, 2020, and will continue until March 4th, 2021. The coach of the school team, Katie Keel, plans on taking the utmost precautions to keep her students and herself safe during these times. In preparation for the upcoming season, high school swimmers have been training with the Aspen Swim Club over the summer. During practices and meets masks will be worn until swimmers step on the block, and regular sanitations will be made.

“Safety will be top of mind this season, and I will take all precautions I can to ensure my team’s safety,” said Katie Keel. 

Changes to the swim team are not all safety and COVID-related. The team and coaches have reported already seeing a difference in team dynamics due to COVID-19 Swim, a team sport, relies and focuses on the technique on an individual scale, but requires a strong team bond in order to excel. Emily Kinney, a senior on the swim team and Skier Scribbler editor-in-chief, gives her opinion on the shift in team dynamics.  

 “Team dynamics have experienced a positive shift this year due to the intense training the team endured this summer. We didn’t have any meets, so we were able to come together as a team and just work hard for the sake of working hard, which boosted camaraderie for sure, as all had the same goal,” Kinney said.

Bonds between teammates and coaches have gotten stronger because of COVID-19, and this virus has caused another change to swimming. Both the school and club team have had to implement shorter practices and fewer people in the pool at a time due to Coronavirus, so this year’s focus zooms in on player communication and focuses less on technique because of the shortened pool time.  

We’ve all gotten a lot closer and bonded a lot more since [the pandemic] started because we’re all going through the same thing together. We’ve got along a lot better and just come together a lot more as a team,” Tehrani said.