Construction causes practice changes

Synchronized swimming faces disjointed season


Ruthie Posada

Sophomores Maya Lee and Bella Stewart and team practice one of their routines at the middle school Feb. 2. Synchronized swimming is unable to practice at the high school due to construction around the locker rooms.

Marta Hill

According to junior Ellen Poulter, the synchronized swimming team will not be able to maintain some of the team building traditions that center around the locker room due to the construction that prohibits it from using the locker rooms.

“Personally the biggest impact the construction has is on our team dynamic. Our team dynamic is so huge and part of the community is the way we set up our locker room to be super inspirational,” Poulter said. “Obviously we will still spend time with each other in the locker room, but we won’t be able to have our inspirational posters and all the other things we do to remind us why we do the hard work that we do.”

According to assistant coach Jessica Gust, synchronized swimming practices will be relocated due to construction at the high school.

“Practices are moving due to the construction for the referendum. The locker rooms are going to be shut down, and the whole pool hallway is going to be blocked off,” Gust said. “We will not actually have access to that whole part of the building. They are not actually doing anything to the pool itself, but everything around the pool will be torn up.”

Gust said the team normally has two practice locations, one of which will be changing this season.

“In a normal season we have a group of girls who practice at the middle school and a group of girls who practice at the high school, so the change is that we will have a group at the middle school and a group at PSI,” Gust said.

According to Poulter, this year is not the first time the team has had to adjust due to construction.

“Back in 2016, when I was in eighth grade, they redid the middle school pool. And because the synchronized swimming team splits up its practice between two pools for efficiency’s sake, that year we practiced just at central and the high school,” Poulter said.

Gust said both groups of girls will be moving between school and practice due to scheduling conflicts.

“The only really weird thing is that because of the pool times and the school release times, the girls that go to the middle school are actually going to practice at central, because we can get that pool earlier. And then the girls who go to the high school are going to go over to the middle school because we can have that pool later,” Gust said.

According to Poulter, the team will need to drive or ride a bus over to the middle school which will cut into the practice time.

“Unfortunately because of the timing, we will have to practice at the middle school. So we are going to have to drive and bus over to the middle school, which is really inconvenient because of the travel time,” Poulter said. “When practice is right on campus, we just start. But with that travel time comes lost pool time and just makes things more complicated than they need to be.”

Poulter said the construction is causing issues with morning practices because of pool availability.

“From the last time I talked to our coaches we think we will have to practice in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Central so that we have more time to get ready and get back over to the high school. And on Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will probably do weight room training,” Poulter said.

Gust said the 2019 season is very discombobulated due to unprecedented conflicts.

“Everything about our season is very disrupted, our state meet is disrupted, our practice times are disrupted, our whole season is really an anomaly this year,” Gust said. “Our State meet is being moved to Rochester because the (University of Minnesota) pool is under construction. Overall we are encountering issues we have never had before.”

According to Gust, the team is adapting to the unique challenges they are facing this season.

“We are doing the best that we can to plan for what we know, but there are something that are out of our control,” Gust said. “One example would be the girls need to bring their swimming bags for practice, they don’t have locker room lockers to put their swimming stuff in but they can’t fit all their school stuff and practice stuff in their regular lockers. So we had to figure out where to put their stuff.”

According to Poutler, the construction will be worth it in the end, it is just causing issues right now.

“I imagine the locker rooms will be significantly nicer than the ones we have right now and hopefully we will be able to use those locker rooms next year, which will be really awesome,” Poulter said. “It will be different for sure because it won’t be the locker room we are used to, but I think it will be great to have a nice redone facility.”

Gust said it helps to remember what the end result of the construction will be.

“The one thing that helps to keep in mind is all of the construction and everything they are doing is going to be so worth it in the end. We aren’t the only sport having issues, no spring sports or gym classes will have a locker room, so it’s gonna be a major inconvenience for a little while, but the end result is gonna be great,” Gust said.

According to Gust, the pre-season meeting at Park will be after school, Feb. 7 in A303.