Swimming and Diving are two of the winter sports offered at McNick, and many aren’t even aware that they’re different sports. From the different events of Swimming, to the scoring of Diving, water is nearly the only commonality between the two sports.
Swimming and Diving are indeed two separate sports. They practice separately, have different coaches, team members, and totally different competitions. For swimming, the events include free-style, butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke. The men’s team only competes in individual competitions because their team is so small, but the women’s team competes in relay races. There are two kinds of relay races: regular and medley. In a regular relay race, everyone on the team swims the same race. In a medley, each team member competes in a different race style. Senior Lillie Motz says that it really makes a team environment.
“Each girl does what she’s best at, so it keys in on the team aspect of it,” Motz said.
For swimming, hours are tough. McNick does not have a pool, so fitting in practice time can be challenging. The team practices at the Clough Pike YMCA each night from 7:30-9 p.m., plus another practice on Saturday from 12:30-3 p.m. Their meets are generally in the Cincinnati area.
“We compete at the Coach’s classic, Mason Invitational, and our Sectionals at Mason High School,” senior Mitch Bloemer said. “The league meet is at St. X. It’s really about who has a pool that’s able to host a competition, and that’s where we go.”
Aside from using a pool, diving is completely different from swimming. Swimming is a competition that involves pure speed and racing. Diving is all about form and performing well-rehearsed stunts off the diving board. Each diver has either six or eleven dives, and each dive is measured on a scale of 1-10, depending on how the athlete performed on various aspects of the dive. Team scores are calculated, but with a small team, it is more about individual scores. On the women’s team are seniors Abby and Maddie Mitchell, and on the men’s side is sophomore Salvatore Marino.
As with swimming, fitting in practices for diving is a task. They practice from 8:30-10 p.m. at UC three days a week and at 5:30 p.m. at Sycamore twice a week. Competitions take place all around the city, including Mason, UC, Sycamore, and Senior Night at the YMCA. Abby Mitchell says the small team is one of her favorite parts of the sport.
“We may have a small team, but we practice with other schools and it’s so much fun to make new friends through the sport,” Abby said.
Both swimming and Diving both begin their seasons at the Mason Invitational on Dec. 7. This is the first of three events for the Swimming Team at Mason.