Back in the Swim of Things

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Back in the Swim of Things

Three black and orange banners span the eight lanes that the new pool boasts.

Three black and orange banners span the eight lanes that the new pool boasts.

Rowan Hornsey

Three black and orange banners span the eight lanes that the new pool boasts.

Rowan Hornsey

Rowan Hornsey

Three black and orange banners span the eight lanes that the new pool boasts.

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The wait is over. So much chatter, so much anticipation of a newer, bigger and better pool at LHS. It’s finally here, and the LHS community is eager to get their feet wet. And who can blame them? Once you take a look inside this facility, you’ll see what the commotion is all about. 

 

Out with the old, in with the new

While there are countless new features to the new pool, the most evident is its size in comparison to the old pool. Unlike the old pool, which could only hold one PE class at a time, the new facility holds up to four PE classes at once. It also includes a classroom located in the downstairs area of the pool to hold lifeguarding classes, along with any other class that needs it. 

“It’s like I was walking into the YMCA or something,” explained senior Michelle Hogarty, describing her thoughts when entering the pool for the first time during her outdoor education class. 

The new pool also includes much brighter lights, which drastically changes the atmosphere for anyone who enters. Mr. John Woods, athletic director of LHS, claims that “when [the] lights come on, it is lighter than daylight in [there]. The [lighting] is so incredible, it really gives you that outdoor space feeling.”

Along with a massive, bright pool comes an immense viewing area, which seats more than 400 spectators, ensuring that there’s no shortage of room for the LHS swim teams’ eager fans.

“This is definitely a huge morale booster because now [the pool is] kind of one of the envies of the state,” emphasized coach Mike Cunningham, head coach of girls’ swim and dive team at LHS. 

The new elevated viewing section of the pool which includes a back on the bleachers spans larger than the other pool and offers more viewing space and increased ways to enter and exit including an elevator.

Rowan Hornsey
The new elevated viewing section of the pool which includes a back on the bleachers spans larger than the other pool and offers more viewing space and increased ways to enter and exit including an elevator.

Diving right in 

The pool’s size does more than just boost morale. It also benefits the swim teams in a multitude of ways. In the old pool, each swim and dive team needed to practice at separate times due to the lack of space to fit all of them at once. However, the new pool allows every team to practice all at once, which undoubtedly strengthens the unity of the swim program. 

Junior Cate McCarty, a member of the varsity girls’ swim team, expressed that “it’s not like we’re three different teams anymore. We’re all swimmers.”

Coach Cunningham agreed, declaring, “We’ve only been here for two days, and already we’ve seen the girls just excited to be getting in the water, being in the new pool, even super bright and early, they’re so excited to get in and get going.” 

Along with team unity, larger home meet crowds could add valuable spirit to the program at each meet. Hogarty believes that the new facility will potentially “encourage students to go to more games, to realize that they do deserve that larger space.” The extra cheers and screams from the fan section is definitely not going unnoticed by the swimmers. 

When discussing one of the girls’ swimming first home meets, McCarty stated, “we had a huge turnout of people which just made the swimmers’ hearts so warm.” 

With the diving boards in a separate section of the pool as the main lanes, more events can be run simultaneously at swim meets when the divider is put in the middle of the pool.

Rowan Hornsey
With the diving boards in a separate section of the pool as the main lanes, more events can be run simultaneously at swim meets when the divider is put in the middle of the pool.

Soaking it in 

Whether it’s intense competition, a new activity, or some chill downtime that you’re looking for, the pool seems to have a little something for everyone. 

Not only does it have space for more PE classes, but more room for activities such as kayaking, since the pool is that big. As a result, the infamous swim portion of PE classes is anticipated to be much less dreadful now for the students who may not typically enjoy swimming.

“I used to dread the swim unit,” voiced Hogarty, “but it was just really nice, honestly, because there was more room for everyone so I got to have some me-time, float on my back a little bit, so it was actually therapeutic, which was so nice.” 

 

Belly flops

Big or small, every transition has its struggles and hiccups; this new addition was certainly no exception. The sentimental aspect of the old pool was one of the major hardships, especially for the members of the swim team. 

“The first two days of practice in the new pool were kind of weird, and it was a bit different getting used to it, but we’re just so fortunate to be able to have that, it was definitely worth it,” expressed McCarty, who had been swimming in the old pool since first grade.

Another obstacle faced was the girls’ swimming and diving teams not having a pool to practice in for the first few days of the season, since the pool wasn’t yet ready for use. Instead, they commuted to Vernon Hills High School for practice every day. 

Along with the burdens on the swim team, some students also disliked the construction process. However, many students feel the result was undeniably worth that burden. 

“I walk around the front instead of the back for two years, and then I get this like, big, beautiful beast of a pool, that people are going to get to use for generations,” stated Hogarty. “It was worth it, one hundred percent.” 

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