Scots compete against Ravens in virtual swim meet

Cameras+livestream+Carlmont%27s+swim+meet%2C+ensuring+audiences+can+watch+from+a+distance.

Jordan Dooley

Cameras livestream Carlmont’s swim meet, ensuring audiences can watch from a distance.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Carlmont swim team competed virtually against Sequoia on Friday, Feb. 26, but will not know the event’s outcome for multiple days.

Meets being virtual this year, there is an obvious change in competitiveness. For some swimmers, the lack of competition at meets has drastically altered their motivation. Despite the setbacks, the team continues to push for new records and reach its goals.

“It may sound like we are competing against a computer, but that’s not the case. It is strange because our competition is not with us, but we still have fun, and our spirit remains high. We are all just trying to make the best out of it,” said Jacey Kelly, a senior on the girls varsity swim team.

The stands are empty, but the cameras capture every moment. These large, specially-equipped cameras are connected to a livestream on Zoom. As the crowd’s eyes watch through a screen, the team safely cheers each other on through each event. The virtual swim meet structure remains the same, regardless of the attendees being 100% remote. Typically, there are 40-60 events per meet which consist of both relays and individual races. 

During the virtual meet, the scoreboard allows the swimmers to track their opponents’ times and their own. Once the times from both schools are sent over and tallied, the scorekeepers will declare the winner. However, a virtual swim meet’s downside is that it can take days or even a week for the judges and scorekeepers to get all the times from the opposing schools, leaving everyone anxious for results. 

.

A few days before the meet, a new member of the team caught the eye of coach Jim Kelly and coach Fred Farley during practice. Just a couple days before their meet against Sequoia, freshman Sydney Niles broke the 100-meter breaststroke record. The team continues to encourage Niles and the rest of the swimmers during these abnormal times to push themselves even without competitors present in the pool. 

“I’m very pleased with the determination of our team, and I am already noticing improvements in times from Wednesday’s meet to this meet, so they are definitely motivated. Considering the circumstances, I think everyone is trying to get back into the swing of things,” Jim Kelly said.

In the face of COVID-19, the Carlmont swim team is determined to make every meet count, virtual or not. For the meet against the Sequoia Ravens, a group of swimmers honored a recently deceased mother beloved by the team. According to the team, Clara Tao, the mother of two Carlmont swimmers, was very supportive and loving to everyone. Before the game, this group of passionate swimmers drew her initials on their arms in tribute to her passing.

“I think this year, people are less excited about swim season, but we are still confident and spirited. Now, winning isn’t the most important factor. It is more about cheering the team on,” said Vyas Kepler, a senior on the boys varsity swim team.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email