A competitive edge: the role club swimming plays in the high school season

Manitou Springs High School’s girls’ swim team started training for their season in the past few weeks, however many of the girls have not stopped training since the season ended last year.

High school swimming is a sport that is very strongly influenced by swimming clubs. A majority of the stronger Mustang swimmers are on both a club and a high school team. However, there is a large portion of the team that swims only on the high school team. The majority of the Manitou swimmers that are on a club team swim for the Colorado Torpedoes. A few swimmers swim for other teams in the Colorado Springs area, such as the White sisters.

The Torpedoes are also coached by the Manitou swim coach, Roy Chaney.

The Torpedoes train 11 months of the year, 6 days a week. Most club swimmers compete in large meets approximately once a month. High school swim is about a three-month long season with a meet at least once a week and often more.

Some of the girls were asked about the differences between the club team and the high school team. The general consensus was that there was little difference in training techniques, because the Torpedoes and Mustangs have the same coach.

Veronica Morin (12) says that there is a very different atmosphere in club swimming as opposed to high school. She says that the high school season is much more team oriented, and the girls are much closer. The club team is a much more individual experience. Most of the girls really value the close team environment during the high school swim season.

Morin says, “Most club swimmers have their biggest drops [in time] in high school swim, there is just so much more energy.” Anyone who goes to a high school swim meet can see a prime example of this team atmosphere during the relays, when the teams and the crowds often cheer enthusiastically. Relays are worth a substantial amount of points, and often a meet can be won or lost by the relays.

If you analyze the final results of the swim season based on the State Championships, it is easy to see how much club swimming affects high school swim. The top 16 swimmers make it back to finals in each event. Most years, those top 16 spots are taken up entirely by club swimmers. Despite this fact, seasonal swimmers play a huge role on every high school team.

It is not the few star swimmers that make a team “good”, but the ability to have a team made up of solid competitors. As many swimmers have mentioned, the camaraderie experienced during the high school season is exclusive to the season. What makes this possible is the mix of seasonal and year-round swimmers.

The team’s competitive season begins the week of December 1, with their first meet at home on December 3.