Shallow pool means limits swimmers’ options


Aaron Deans, Online Editor

Thanks to the AA Bond that is helping to renovate the campus, Branham will soon have its pool completely redone.

The current pool will be taken out and replaced with a larger one expected to be done by March 2019. Until then, Branham’s team of over 100 swimmers will continue working out in the current pool, only 3 feet 6 inches deep.

A shallow pool presents multiple disadvantages for the team. Students can’t dive into the water, so they get less practice with racing dives.

Coach Dave Mackey said that the shallow pool presents hurts Branham’s competitiveness.

“We can’t have any home meets because it’s out of the rule in the handbook, that you cannot dive if it’s under 4 feet,” he said.

During the 2017 season, Branham was able to host a few meets because some rival teams were also having their pools redone. Competitors had to start in the water, taking away the possible advantage of the initial dive.

Sophomore Ben Aronson said the shallow pool has been a consistent problem, especially for the less-experienced swimmers.

“As far as flip-turns go, some people are afraid that they’ll hit their head,” he said. “As an experienced swimmer, it’s not a problem for me; it’s just without being able to practice dives and having a short distance with minimal lanes, it’s detrimental and crowded sometimes.”

The pool’s remodel is scheduled to begin soon after school ends. The renovated pool will be deeper (13 feet) and will be 38 meters by 25 yards, about the length of the pool and diving pool end-to-end.

Because of the increased depth, Mackey said a water polo team is possible, but other schools will have to form teams in order to start a league.

The construction of the new pool is expected to cut into next year’s swim season, as Mackey is not optimistic it will be done on time.

“I’ll believe it when I see a hole in the ground,” Mackey said.

Junior Evan Gao said that having to do this could be a problem for swimmers.

A new pool will be a major asset to the swim team, expanding the participation they can take on a league level, both in terms of holding meets and diving. Construction is scheduled to begin in June.