• Last modified 441 days ago (July 2, 2020)


Swim team members making a splash in pandemic-shortened season

Staff writer

With just one swim meet remaining in 2020, members of Peabody Super Swimmers are eager to capitalize on their opportunities, even if it’s just a three-meet season.

“I have to try harder,” Fancy Reynolds said. “I’m pushing myself more during practices.”

The changes cost athletes their chance to compete at leagues. That was a difficult loss for Fancy, who competes in the 11 to 12 age bracket.

“The ultimate goal is to compete at leagues,” she said.

The team’s league meet usually is its biggest of the season and provides the best opportunity for personal bests, her mother, Hope Reynolds, said.

While there are fewer swimmers at meets this year, parent Natasha Craig believes only part of that is because of COVID-19.

“I think the numbers are smaller, and it also gets smaller the older the kids get,” Natasha Craig said. “Once they get to high school, the numbers really drop off.”

Her daughter, Cadence, competes with the Super Swimmers and Newton Nitros swim club.

“I’m pretty happy that we’re going,” Cadence said.

Hope noticed measures being taken at meets to increase social distancing, such as allowing fewer parents in the pool area and spreading out more as an audience at Saturday’s meet in Herington.

Peabody won the meet, which made the team 2-0 this season. The team will compete in its final meet July 11 in Peabody.

Having fewer races increases the importance of each opportunity, Hope said.

“It’s probably a bigger challenge for kids this year because they have less practice,” she said. “Going into the first meet there were only three practices because we had to miss one for a thunderstorm. That was probably really hard for some of them, when they’ve been sitting around for a little bit and have to get back in there.”

Cadence has even fewer opportunities for Peabody meets. The family skipped Saturday’s meet since Cadence’s older sister was graduating from Peabody-Burns High School.

However, getting faster times remains the goal for Cadence.

“She’s a very active child,” Natasha said. “She likes to stay busy. It’s been very hard for her to stay at home and not be around friends or doing anything. She’s highly competitive with everything she does.”

With fewer peers to compete against, gaining an edge for Cadence is about keeping her mental power.

“I have a lot of energy,” she said. “I just focus on how I keep my energy up. If I eat certain foods, they increase my energy, like sugar.”

The team’s practice format is similar to years past but there are some changes.

In addition to typical social distancing policies, there are numbered kickboards and each is only for use by specific swimmers. There also designated lanes where each person may swim during practice.

Marion’s swim team will compete this year, with its first meet Saturday at Herington.

“It is the Fourth of July but it should be a fun, quick morning,” coach Randy Carlson said.

They pulled out of a meet last week in Abilene meet because of COVID-19 possibilities in Abilene, he said.

Marion also will compete July 11 at Hesston. Carlson has struggled promoting his team this year, which reduced Marion’s number of swimmers.

“It’s tough to get the word out,” he said. “It’s pretty much just returning swimmers.”

Hillsboro has no swim team this year because its pool is not open for the season. Several swimmers from Hillsboro are competing on Marion’s team.

Last modified July 2, 2020