By: Miranda Rester, Staff Reporter
The Oak Grove High School swim team has done well at a number of their past competitions, and they don’t expect this year to be any less successful than the others. The team has only had two meets so far this year, and their discipline and talent have shown in both competitions.
Their first meet this year was in Vicksburg. The girls placed fifth in this meet while the boys placed seventh. “The boys have lost some swimmers, but they’re rebuilding,” Coach Nora Rapetti said. “Even with the boys’ part of the team dwindling, they show no sign of letting it stop them from succeeding. They have been placing very well so far this year.” During the team’s meet at the West Jones Invitational on September 25, both the boys and the girls earned second place. “I think the girls are going to win the South State competition this year, and the boys are going to place well,” Rapetti said.
The team’s extreme talent and ability to win are the products of many hours of training and practice. Since swimming requires a lot of energy and physical strength, it’s hard to believe that the team can handle three practices a week, but they do. They work on improving their times with many different strokes such as the butterfly stroke, freestyle, backstroke, and breast stroke. The goal is to have the fastest time. To achieve the fastest time, a swimmer must reach the end of the pool before any other swimmers. The oldest stroke, the breast stroke, usually produces the slowest times while the crawl, a freestyle stroke, tends to produce the fastest times. Also, when swimming the butterfly and breaststroke, swimmers must touch the pool with both hands simultaneously when they finish. Although the practices are long and hard, they seem to be paying off quite well for the swimmers. “We’re expecting this to be a really good year,” Rapetti said.
In high school swimming, the boys and girls are split into two separate teams, and are given separate scores. Each swimmer is given a specific number of points depending on where they placed in a race. All of these points are added together to determine the team’s score. In order to win a competition, a team must have the most points out of all the other teams.
Swimming is one of the least dangerous sports because it is considered to be low impact and easy on bones and joints. Therefore, the team doesn’t have to worry about losing athletes due to injury as much as other sports teams do. Although at least 50% of swimmers suffer from shoulder pain, they can swim through the pain. This means they can spend more time practicing and less time trying to replace injured members.
Everyone is looking forward to seeing the swim team continue with their victories this year.