Racing for a Better Pool

Swim Team Needs Place of Their Own

Turn Hard: Another important part of a race is the turn. There are two types of turns: flip turns and open turns.The flip turn helps give an extra burst of speed.

Beep! Beep! Beep! It is 4:30 a.m. Time to get up for swim practice. One of my many problems with GPS not having a swimming pool for the swim team is the early morning wake-up call. Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to get to practice on time is hard on the body and the mind. The swim team deserves to have a place of their own to practice because of transportation issues, pools with missing parts, a place for the community to enjoy, and possible meet hosting in the future.
First off, if the pool was in Gretna, I would not have to get up as early. I also would not have to drive 20 minutes into Omaha for practice at the Jewish Community Center which gives us three lanes to use. The drive time is okay in the early morning because nobody is driving, but after practice, I take the Dodge Expressway to the interstate and pray that there are no accidents\; because that means it will take longer to get to school.
Also, a pool in Gretna would mean that more swimmers could drive to practice. The reason most swimmers do not drive to practice is that their parents do not want them driving on the interstate. It would free up the vans that the school has as well. Since the swim team uses two turtle vans and is allowed to keep their equipment bags inside means other people who use the turtle vans must put their personal belongings elsewhere because the swim equipment is already there. The swim team uses the turtle vans and is allowed to keep their gear in the turtle. The second pool we practice at is Mockingbird, which is a 20-minute drive from GHS. We also have to put in the lane ropes in the pool before practice which can cut down on our practice time. A pool in Gretna would help the transportation issues the swim team has.
Next, if Gretna had a pool, we would have all of the necessary parts. By necessary parts, I mean blocks for all the lanes, better locker rooms, lane ropes, flags and other markings in the pool. The Jewish Community Center has no blocks for us to practice starts on. Mockingbird has a block that is small, wobbly and is not the type used by a majority of pools. Members of the swim team must adjust to the blocks at meets during our warm-up time which is usually an hour to 30 minutes before the meet starts. This puts us at a disadvantage because we have several swimmers that do not know how to do a proper start. There are three kinds of starts: relay, backstroke, and track starts. Many of the JV swimmers do not know how to do a relay start properly which can result in a relay getting disqualified. Practicing backstroke starts on the bar at the block at Mockingbird is difficult because it is not like the other bars at other pools and the bar gets slippery fast. Doing track starts at Mockingbird is the worst because there is no wedge. The wedge helps add momentum and is adjustable so it helps every swimmer. The swim team needs a pool to be able to efficiently practice starts.
Having a pool would also be beneficial for turns. Turns are what a swimmer does at a wall to give them an extra momentum and to go faster. At one end of the pool during a meet, there is a trackpad which when touched by either feet or hands, records a swimmer’s splits and final time. Some swimmers do not realize how hard they have to hit the pad so it will stop timing them. Although the timers have something they can push, the swimmer also needs to slam their hand into the pad. Having a pool with all of the accessories would benefit the swim team.
Another reason the swim team should have a pool is the community can enjoy it as well. The Elkhorn/Elkhorn South swim team practices at Elkhorn’s Common Ground which is like a YMCA but has more lanes than the average YMCA. Common Ground posts the times the high school swim team uses the pool and the times the club team does as well. This allows the community to see the team practice and allows to come and watch meets when Elkhorn hosts them. It would also allow Gretna to have its own club swim team in the future. The community of Gretna deserves to a Common Ground like facility both for the swim team and for everyone else to enjoy year-round.
Finally, the last reason the swim team deserves its own pool is the ability to host a meet. Hosting a meet would give the team a home-field advantage and would raise money for the school. Also, the National Honor Society students could volunteer their time to help run the meet making it more efficient so it does not take as long. Meet hosting would show that the swim team is growing and the community is taking interest in the swim team as well
The swim team deserves to have a swimming facility that is located near Gretna, with all of the necessary parts, and the community of Gretna will have a place to swim year-round and maybe have the opportunity to host a meet. According to the Gretna Breeze, there are plans for an aquatic facility to be built in the near future. The school district would have joint ownership of the recreation and fitness facility, with the competition pool through a lease. The city would manage the facility and the current pool. When swimming is in season, the school would have the first priority with the pool. For Gretna to get a fitness facility like the one being proposed would cost around 44.3 million dollars. To fund this, a bond would be included and a half-cent tax sales tax increase throughout Gretna. This is expected on the May ballot. For the swim team, this would be beneficial and would help support the growing community.