Swimming and Diving During a Global Pandemic

Claire Macellaio

Despite the new school year starting online, the girls’ Swimming and Diving season is in full swing. With many health and safety precautions, a shortened season, and an altered practice schedule, the team has been in and out of the pool since mid-August. Many members of the team feel very fortunate to have a season this fall especially considering IHSA has cancelled and rescheduled other sports seasons, including football and volleyball, to the spring. 

Sophie Struyk, ‘21, says, “I feel very comfortable in the new environment with the implemented safety precautions. Even though it’s different from my last three years it still feels good to be back in the pool.” Prior to each practice, swimmers and divers must complete an online CPS health screener online health screener that asks them if they have been feeling sick, travelled outside of the country recently, and other questions to ensure that no potentially sick person enters the pool. Coach Kersti Azar and Athletic Director Chris Cassidy take everyone’s temperature before entering the pool deck. In addition, everyone must wear masks when not in the water and maintain a six foot distance from fellow teammates. The pool deck includes many signs to encourage social distancing and wipe containers to keep the

space sanitized. Locker rooms have been closed to avoid close physical contact between swimmers. Overall, the team is following the Center of Disease Control’s guidelines very closely. Ireland Laverty, ‘23, pictured left, says, “swim and dive has been a really fun experience for me, even with the virus. Since it is very low contact we have been able to stay apart and safe during practices. I do feel safe when practicing because when out of the water we wear masks and stay distanced while diving.”

Although practices can be held safely, meets with other schools have some teammates and coaches worried about cross-contamination. So far, the team has had two meets against Northside College Prep and Von Steuben High School. Larissa Gosslau, ‘22 says, “I feel safe at practice but sometimes with meets it can get tricky if lots of teams are coming.”  To reduce this concern, meets will take on stricter social distancing rules, such as only one 

team allowed in the pool at a time, and prohibiting spectators from coming into the building. Some swimmers have suggested to hold meets virtually to avoid contact with other teams. 


Even though the virus has completely changed the girls’ Swimming and Diving season, the team is still very grateful to have a season in the midst of it all. The team will continue to practice with safety precautions in place, on their way to win another City championship.