Coon Rapids Swim and Dive Team Affected by COVID


Coon Rapids Girls swim and dive team sport their masks on the pool deck after winning their second to the last meet against the Osseo Orioles.

Sydney Waters, Staff Writer

Since Covid hit the United States hard, back in March of 2020, people have been wondering if their school would continue that fall and after school sports as well. Once the board finally made their decision to continue after school sports with strict regulations, teams rejoiced that they would get to play another season, even if it was during a pandemic. Last Tuesday I got the chance to interview 3 members of the Coon Rapids Swim and Dive team to get a better look into how their season went with the new Covid guidelines.

The swim team had to follow strict guidelines like wearing masks all times you were not in the pool, they had to socially distance themselves at all times, and there were no away meets for the first couple of weeks, only virtual races. When I asked assistant coach Ashley Radas about her opinion on having virtual meets, Radas stated that she liked having away meets more than a virtual meet. Radas stated that virtual meets just felt like a time trial, and she felt as though that there was less pressure and excitement for their upcoming races. When the swim team’s first away meet came around, Coach Doug Donaldson made the decision to only bring the varsity girls to promote social distancing on the bus and at the away pool. Another interviewee Ella Noe, a JV swimmer on the Coon Rapids swim team stated that since only varsity swimmers were allowed to go to away meets, it made Noe push harder at practice so she would get to go to the away meets. 

Having to wear masks at the times when you were not in the pool wasn’t a struggle for the swimmers, but for the diver, Josie Ingvaldson having to wear her mask before and after she got in the water her

Captain Josie Ingvaldson gets ready for her dive at Northdale Middle School.

mask began to get wet and it was a struggle for her to breathe through the damp material. Noe also stated that wearing a mask wasn’t a big deal to her because at practice she wouldn’t wear her mask because the swimmers were in the pool all of their practice, but at meets having to wear it when she wasn’t in the pool didn’t really have an effect on her. Social distance was something that was strongly enforced by head coach, Doug Donaldson., Noe stated that he was very strict on keeping the girls at a distance from each other, even when they were in the pool they were distancing themselves. Coach Radas supported the distance but struggled with not connecting with the swimmers after their hard races. Radas stated, “I noticed that after races I would touch the swimmers head but I had to find another way to connect to them.”. Captain Josie Ingvaldson was also asked about the social distance guideline and said, it was hard to get the girls to connect when they couldn’t have any parties or get-togethers because they couldn’t go anywhere. 

During the summer Captains Megan Schultze, Josie Ingvaldson, and Sydney Waters were scared that they wouldn’t get their last season. When the decision was made to have a fall season they were overjoyed but their final season was shortened by 4 weeks. The girls were upset but were happy that they still got somewhat of a season, Noe stated that she didn’t feel terrible about the shortened season, she was upset with the fewer meets. Noe also explained how she didn’t get much of a taper and felt if she had gotten more time she would have gone faster in her last race of the season. But even with the shortened season both Radas and Ingvaldson thought it was one of the better seasons they had had in awhile. Radas felt as though the team really came together this season and with strong leadership, the girls stayed positive and ran themselves in a strong and passionate way. Ingvaldson felt that her season was

amazing and fun to lead, she felt like that the captains did well managing the team. And Noe noted how her swimming was not affected by the new guidelines but the team bonding was affected but said it was an all-around good season.