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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Diving into team spirit

Diving+into+team+spirit
Annabelle Yip (she/her)

In the realm of school sports, where roster numbers can dictate team success, the Inglemoor Boys Swim and Dive team makes waves despite having a smaller team. The team consists of just 15 swimmers, many of which are underclassmen. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of swimmers dropped dramatically, prompting concerns about the team’s performance.

Senior captain Joel Chapple (he/him) has been on the swim team for three years. He said that the lower number of swimmers helps captains and coaches alike to spot places for swimmers’ improvement. In fact, swimmers have been improving quicker because they have more time for individualized coaching, Chapple said. 

“It’s a lot easier for a coach to see somebody who’s struggling,” Chapple said. “I can go, ‘Oh, I can see that you’re having problems.’ I can call it out. I can make time to make sure that you specifically catch up.”

Coach Corey Martin (he/him) said that having a smaller team can also give swimmers more space during practices. Each pool is split between schools for practice, with each school using three pool lanes. In this way, smaller teams have a direct advantage over others during practice. In each lane, Inglemoor might have five or six swimmers, while larger teams may have up to 15.

“We have three lanes of the pool for workouts,” Martin says. “It’s hard to run a workout when you have to cram more than 10 people in a lane. It just limits your options.”

Despite the team’s modest size, swimmers have demonstrated team spirit in and out of the water. 

“I think our team spirit is higher than all of them. I’ve seen our team get pretty hyped up compared to other teams. We’re pretty loud,” sophomore Ishmael Hannachi (he/him) said. “Even though we’re small, we cheer each other on and I think that’s super important.”

According to Martin, the team may be most known for its hair bleaching tradition, but the Boys Swim and Dive Team has many other traditions that also connect athletes through group meals and physical challenges like “The Hardest Mile,” a dry-land challenge that Bothell and Inglemoor swimmers take on every Thanksgiving. Swimmers lap the track four times, each time with a different exercise like lunges or burpees. 

“Every year on the practice before Thanksgiving we get together [with Bothell High School] and we do this dry land CrossFit-style practice. The following practice we all share pumpkin pie and have a coming-together of the two teams at the end,” Martin said. “It’s sort of this collective spirit that’s unique: working out at 5:15 a.m.”

The boys swim and dive team hasn’t always been able to be as involved with their traditions, though. Martin said that the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the team had about 25 athletes; the year after it had only four members, one of which was Chapple. That year in particular, it was difficult to maintain team traditions. But given the large number of underclassmen, Chapple and Martin said they’re hopeful for the team’s future.

“We have some fast swimmers, strong swimmers, and everyone’s a hard worker.  Everybody’s able to compete and watch themselves improve. And so they’re really going to help build a team going forward,” Martin said.

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About the Contributor
Sophomore Annabelle Yip is starting as a reporter for Nordic News. This year she hopes to have fun, meet new people, and contribute to a cohesive and entertaining newspaper for the school. She wants to learn more about journalism ethics, article editing, and reporting methods. Annabelle is also a private tutor, works part-time and works as the Director of Treasury for FBLA. Outside of Nordic, you’ll find her cooking for insatiable family members, buying useless items off Amazon, and tutoring sleep-deprived middle school students.

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