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Swimming through a season with no pool

Junior+Emma+Tang+prepares+for+a+dive+at+the+Prospect+High+School+pool.
Vidushi Upadhyay
Junior Emma Tang prepares for a dive at the Prospect High School pool.

There are worries that swimmers are not getting enough sleep, and that had impacted the quality of training.

— Ryan Hume, Head Coach

Lynbrook’s swimming pool has been closed for repairs since Oct. 24 2023, due to the broken heater, planned maintenance and the need to replace the old equipment in the pump room, leaving students on the swimming and diving teams to practice at Prospect Cupertino and Homestead High Schools’ swimming facilities instead. 

Because of a rule stating that swimmers cannot enter school pools if the water if it’s below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the broken pool heater has become a recurring issue for the swim and diving teams due to its potential dangers; the cold water could cause increased heart rate or blood pressure. In past seasons, similar incidents have led to canceled or optional practices. 

“One time, my coaches had to tell me to get out of the pool because my hands were blue from the cold,” senior and varsity swim team member Ava Roohipour said.

 Now that swimmers and divers must practice at neighboring high schools, new problems have arisen, such as the inconvenient commute and early morning practice times, which have had an adverse effect on overall team spirit. 

For the past two years, practices were usually held after school for two hours, five times a week; however, that has now been shortened. Each practice starts at around 6 a.m., lasting only around an hour, three times a week. The change in practice time from after school to before school is a result of the Cupertino, Prospect and Homestead pools being occupied later in the day by their respective swimming teams, giving the Lynbrook swimming team little flexibility in choosing when to practice.  

“There are worries that swimmers are not getting enough sleep, and that has impacted the quality of training,” head coach Ryan Hume said. 

These changes come as a concern to some team members because Lynbrook’s swimming teams moved up a division since last season. In the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, in which Lynbrook competes, there are two divisions: El Camino and De Anza. Previous to this season, the team competed in the El Camino division but has now moved up to the De Anza division.

Another issue with the current arrangement lies with the varsity swim team and their lack of access to Prospect’s showers. Though Lynbrook’s varsity swim team is allowed to practice in Prospect’s swimming pool and has access to the locker rooms, the showers are off-limits. Swimmers must come to Lynbrook or go home to take a shower. 

Aside from how these new practices affect the team as a whole, the swimmers have encountered problems individually as well. Morning practices have affected the swimmers’ amount of sleep, which is vital to their performance. In addition, after practices are over and swimmers are given the ability to shower, they have less time to dry their hair, occasionally forcing them to go to class with wet hair in the cold. 

“I noticed a lot fewer people joining the team because they don’t want to wake up early for practice,” junior and varsity swim team member Emma Tang said. “People also complained that the earlier times made them slower during tryouts.” 

Lynbrook is not the only FUHSD school that has experienced problems like this with its swimming pool. Prospect’s swimming pool’s heater broke down soon after Lynbrook started practicing there. Now fixed, Lynbrook’s varsity swim team plans to continue to practice at Prospect. 

While the pool is expected to remain closed at least until March 15, the athletics department has used the additional time to make various improvements around the pool deck.  Earlier this year, the scoreboard above the pool was replaced. Following that, the floor tiles surrounding the pool were replaced to ensure student safety. Once the pool is reopened, it will also have bulletins showcasing art. 

Despite the challenges that have arisen with the pool being closed, Lynbrook’s swim and diving teams expect their seasons to go smoothly. 

“I think this experience will make the team stronger and help us perform even better,” junior and co-swim team captain Karen Gao said. 

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About the Contributors
Inaaya Yousuf, Staffer
(she/her) Inaaya is a junior and this is her second year as an Epic staff member. Outside of school, she loves reading, writing, and watching Formula 1.
Vidushi Upadhyay, Staffer
(she/her) Vidushi loves being a part of the Epic and is excited to write movie reviews this year! She's a dedicated swimmer and loves dancing for the school team. In her free time, she obsesses over Formula One and her favorite TV show at the time.

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