Diving into the 2021-2022 Swim Season

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Harriton Swim and Dive

Caitlin Chou, Staff Writer

 

As fall sports come to a close, and winter sports begin, Coach Jimmy Turley and the four captains of Harriton’s swim team start to prepare for the beginning of the season. 

 

COVID-19 impacted last year’s season, with only five dual meets rather than the typical eleven. According to Coach Turley, the COVID protocols will be about the “same as last year” but the swim team will get in all eleven meets. 

 

While some of the protocols require masks to be worn on deck and before races; this year there is no limit for pool capacity, and the boys and girls teams will be able to race together. While the Athletics Department has not yet released whether spectators will be allowed to attend, Turley is ready for a more normal season. This season marks his third year as Harriton’s coach and he “[hasn’t] had a normal one [yet].” 

 

Turley has many goals for the team this year. He hopes for the girls team to have a positive record with many wins as he believes that they “always [have] had the pieces there, it’s just having a normal season to execute.”

 

For the boys team, Turley hopes for them to win one meet. With their team typically having fewer members, it is important that a good portion of swimmers are well-rounded. Despite the fact that Harriton’s team is normally smaller than others, the supportive team atmosphere is one that makes up for its losses. 

 

Turley strives to improve the team community this year, and he hopes that the team can become a “place [swimmers] can go to for support and can actually feel like a team.” His goal is to bond everyone on the team together, not just those who swim in the same lanes of the pool. Turley is excited for the new season and is looking forward to giving everyone more opportunities to perform at their best.

 

Meet the Captains

This year there are two captains per team, each picked by Coach Turley. The girls swimming captains this year are seniors Haley McClain and Elena Rossi. They are accompanied by the boys’ captains, seniors Kyle Kane and Simon Spadea. 

 

“It’s always been Haley and Elena since the first day they were sophomores,” said Turley when asked about how he chose his girls’ captains for the upcoming season. Both Haley and Elena have been on the team since their freshman year, and met Jimmy when they were sophomores. The two have gone to many championship meets together, such as Centrals and Districts. When asked about their goals for the season, Haley responded, “We’re trying to get the underclassmen involved because I feel like when it’s a whole team experience…the season goes the best.”

 

The two love the group environment and hope to bring the team closer together for the upcoming season. Although they admit that Harriton may not have the best record, the bonds formed between fellow swimmers and the opportunities they have gotten allows them to venture out of their comfort zone and typical friend circles. “Jimmy is a really great coach and really puts in the effort to pay attention to everyone,” says Haley, as the two discuss the team as a whole.

 

Although the boys’ captains “were not always [his] first choice,” Turley realized how both Kane and Spadea could work well in a team leadership position after watching them last season. Kyle has been on the team since his freshman year and Simon since his sophomore. Both agree that Harriton Swim has taught them to be flexible, and Simon expressed that they have “learn[ed] to go the extra mile” while dealing with a smaller team. “We want to create a team feeling” answered Kyle when asked about his goals as captain this year, reiterating what Coach Turley and the girls’ captains had shared earlier.

 

All of the captains this year are looking forward to the exciting upcoming season, with a collective goal of bonding both new and returning swimmers together. 

 

Tryout for the Team!

Tryouts will begin next Friday, November 19th, at the Lower Merion High School pool. Coach Turley encourages everyone interested to try out for the team; it is a fun way to connect with new people and to support Harriton. “At the end of the day, if you’re willing to learn, I would love to have [you] on the team,” says Turley.