The room fills with the echoes of a cheering crowd and the continuous splashing of the pool. The atmosphere at swim meets and competitions can be both nerve racking and invigorating as the swimmers line up for their relay. It can be difficult to focus with all the chaos and noise, but as soon as the swimmers are ready, the pool is all anyone can concentrate on.
In the past, boys’ swim has had successful teams. Although, now they have less members, but they still show growth in their success. Head Swimming and Diving Coach Pete Hill feels that he had a strong team this season.
“They are small but doing very well on personal levels,” Hill said.
This season, the team competed in several meets and relays in the Springfield area and others in Kansas City and St. Louis.
The team worked towards new individual times and records. Freshmen Kai Brownlee was the only member of the team to make it to State. Brownlee has been swimming for six years, and by participating in State, he gained a lot of support and strength.
“[State] is more serious and it’s actually a chance to do something,” Brownlee said. “Coach goes to every single one of my meets and I’m the only one going to state so he’s really supporting me.”
Hill has been coaching swim for 20 years, nine years in Nixa and 11 in Kansas City. He said he works to encourage his team whenever he can.
“I feel like I have learned a lot about life from swimming” Hill said. “So I take my 43 plus years of swimming and try to help them to avoid the mistakes I made.”
Senior Aiden Farrar has been swimming for four years in Nixa. He enjoys being a part of the team.
“All of the swim guys are great and it’s just a fun atmosphere,” Farrar said. “The coaches work with us a lot to try and improve our swimming as much as possible.”
Through the season he’s made progress in staying consistent and working towards new best times especially on the 100 breaststroke. He said that the coaches help each swimmer in their goals to get better, but it’s not always easy.
“Swim your butt off,” Farrar said. “You’re gonna have a lot of fun and the coaches are gonna push you especially hard, but just stick with it and keep working.”
Junior Joseph Bogun has been swimming for three years at Nixa. Since his freshman year, Bogun feels that he’s gained a lot of strength from swimming and has gotten faster through the years.
“Coaches help us to do well and get new records they just cheer me on [and] tell us good job,” Bogun said.
Hill said that one of his favorite things about coaching is being able to see the progress that his swimmers make.
“I love to watch a kid who has never swam, learn to swim, and then watch their confidence grow as they become better and better,” Hill said.
The swim team puts in a lot of work in order to achieve their goals. They practice five afternoons and two mornings every week at the Springfield Natatorium. Usually consisting of 30 minutes of dryland warm-ups, then the rest of practice is dedicated to swimming.
“(Swim) is very time consuming if you want to be really good — you need to swim year round to have a shot at State,” Hill said. “Water is a 1,000 times more resistant than air. Why does this matter? Because you swim in it and it wears you down.”
One general feeling the team has is that they are in need of more support and participation. Especially after this year’s seniors graduate.
Athletes who are interested in joining swim can start to attend informational meetings and practices usually starting in August. This information is also posted on the Nixa High School athletic’s page along with the schedule when the season starts again. Any questions can be answered by head coach Pete Hill found at [email protected]