Ola swimmers test the waters

The approaching winter sports season brings the return of one of Ola’s newest sports: swimming.

Nadine Moore, senior, practices mastering the butterfly. Moore and many others on the team vocally showed their distaste for the difficult swimming style.

Photo by Jessica Louis

Nadine Moore, senior, practices mastering the butterfly. Moore and many others on the team vocally showed their distaste for the difficult swimming style.

Jessica Louis, Staff Writer

After several strenuous endurance practices on dry land, the swimming team finally hit the waters on October 18 for their first in-water practice of the season.

The coaches, Terri Denson and John Wood implemented a well-balanced diet for the swimmers as well as regular dry-land workouts to keep the team fit for the pool.

The girls conditioned through hours of lunges, push-ups, planks and mile runs so that their first kick in the water would be a powerful one. Agility, endurance, speed and stamina are extremely important components of a great swimmer.

“One of the hardest practices…we had to do a mile. But instead of a mile just running, we were running, lunging, jumping, scissor walking.. so it was more difficult than a regular mile,” said Bailey Cox, junior.

The first in-water practice took place at the Forest Park recreational center, just about 30 miles from Ola High School. The team must bus long distances to the nearest professional style swimming pool until the Henry County swimming pool is completed in an estimated three or four years.

“…We usually do homework on the bus because we have so much time,” said Maggie Robinson, junior.

During practice, the girls first begin with stretches, followed by a few warm up laps. After this, the team works on skill. From backstrokes to breast strokes and kicking practice, they practice for approximately two or three hours. The most infamous swimming style, however, is the butterfly.

The butterfly is the practice where the swimmer strokes with both arms at the same time while simultaneously kicking back their legs. This method takes a huge toll on both the arms and legs of swimmers.

“Butterflying is definitely the hardest part about swimming,” said Montana LeQuire, senior.

As coach Denson assisted the returning members on perfecting their skill, Coach Wood instructed the beginning professional swimmers on the basics of competition swimming. According to the coaches, the most important part about swimming is mastering the basic methods like kicking with the hips, hand placing, and breathing at the right time.

“As a coach, seeing somebody get something for the first time.. That’s an amazing feeling. Seeing the look on their face and the expression they get.. It makes you feel good,” said Coach Wood.

No matter how hard it may be, the swim team is comprised of fast learners and fast swimmers, having won two consecutive county championship wins. Ola’s swimming team plans on keeping the winning streak alive while also placing at state for the first year.

“We want at least two people to make it to state and maybe a relay team. Obviously we want a three-peat,” said Coach Denson.