Girls Swim and Dive Strive For Success Despite Setbacks From COVID-19

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Monika Chiapetta

This year’s girls swimming will be unlike any other season RMHS has seen. In the midst of the current global pandemic, COVID-19 has been the reason the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has decided to implement the following guidelines to the 2020 girls swim season. 

  All relay events have been eliminated from the meets and the girls will not be allowed to stand on the sidelines and cheer for their teammates as they swim. Unfortunately, this puts a restriction on the amount of the support the girls can provide one another. The changes are not only uncomfortable for the girls, but also for Coach Monika Chiappetta. 

“It is very difficult to provide the coaching I am accustomed to with the guidelines,” Chiappetta said. “The girls are very spread out and can’t talk to each other without yelling.”

In addition, practice time has been significantly cut short and restrictions have been implemented in the interest of the team’s health as well as the families of the athletes. However, despite these strange circumstances, the senior girls are still glad to be able to compete in meets at all.  

“Achieving our goals this season will require additional effort because of COVID and the situation we’re in,” senior Stephanie Leigh said.  “However, I am excited that they will be allowing meets to happen,” 

Leigh will focus this year on beating her personal records from last year, refining her technique and being an encouraging factor for her teammates. In the offseason, she’s been training daily and utilized her time in quarantine to improve. 

“I hope that both me and my teammates can understand that this season is going to look and feel different but still enjoy it and make the most out of the situation,” senior Jenna Windhorst said. 

Windhorst, along with the rest of the team, is not planning on losing the bond the team shares. Although this season is occurring under unusual circumstances, the girls are keeping a bright attitude and are continuing to push themselves to achieve their fullest potential.