Girls Swim starts strong despite loss of spectators


Wil Hansen

BGN live-streams the recent Rolling Meadows meet to allow barred spectators to watch from home.

The BG girls swim team started their fall season with a strong win against Rolling Meadows on Aug. 28. Although the team has had to adjust to meet IHSA regulations, they continue to grow as individuals and as a team.

In order to maintain safety, practices are now split into groups rotating practice times and places. Swimmers maintain 6 feet both in and out of the pool, wearing masks when out of the water. 

“We have a limited amount in each group, with two or three swimmers per lane,” senior captain Sydney Logan said. “One person starts at the bulkhead and one at the wall. It is actually sometimes nice to have so much space.”

Although some schools have been facing a lower turn out of swimmers due to COVID-19 concerns, according to coach Michael McPartlin, they have actually had a larger turnout than last year with about 65 swimmers.

“I’ve had a couple of girls say that the team feels smaller, number wise it’s now, we’re actually a bit bigger than last year,” McPartlin said. “It’s just we can’t have everybody in the same spot.”

Meets limit the number of swimmers by dividing the three levels. While there are currently no spectators allowed, the meet can be found live at Vimeo, broadcasted by the BGN.

“It’s different not having a crowd, and I really miss being with the rest of the team,” Logan said. “We have been working to connect JV, fresh, soph and varsity for a long time, and with everything so divided it has gotten even harder.”

“Everyday at practice for me is exciting because I get to see students. I think that we have a really good team, with really good leadership. I think that even with all these circumstances our team is in a really good spot.”

— Coach McPartlin

While senior night is usually a meet during the later part of the season, this year senior night was on Sept. 4 in order to ensure the seniors would get to be celebrated and recognized. Socially distant pasta parties are now more important than ever to the team. They have allowed the team to connect outside of the pool.

“I think the pasta parties are more meaningful now,” junior Diana Dobrovolsky said. “I think they help us to come together as a team, but also just talk to each other as friends and students.”

The varsity Champaign invite was canceled for this year, a meet that provided an exciting and important time for the team to come together according to Logan. Perhaps one of the biggest changes this season is the cancelation of state conferences. 

“We set out goals at different points in the season, having that end goal of state not being a possibility has been challenging,” McPartlin said. “But we can’t let that be what limits us this season and stop people from swimming well and competing.”

Despite the many changes this year, posing various challenges to the swimmers and team, the season also provides the athletes with valuable time together.

“I am just glad for any time we have together,” Dobrovsky said. “BG students and staff can support the swim team by attending the swim meets even virtually. It’s nice to know that others are watching even if virtually.”