Molalla swimmers hopeful about season
While there's still a lot of uncertainty about what kind of season the Molalla High swim team will have, coach Melissa Georgesen and her squad are in the pool getting ready for whatever comes.
The May start was a first in a season that will have many, but despite the challenges the pool is facing with social distancing requirements and new maximum capacities, "the Molalla Indians have 21 swimmers for this short season," Georgesen said.
The squad, she said, has been able to practice at the Molalla Aquatic Center daily and her team is getting back into the swing of things.
"I am working with parents and volunteers to try and pull off some small dual meets," Georgesen said. "The pool lost some key personnel during our closures and I am working to replace people that simply cannot be replaced."
Georgesen doubles as the Molalla Aquatic District's director and noted that "We have faced extraordinary circumstances this past year, between the pandemic, the fires and the ice storm. This community has shown resiliency and strength, and I am hoping the swim season can work out in the best interest of the kids."
One of the struggles to a semi-normal season is the risk category the county is in. While Clackamas County is in "High Risk," the swimming pool may only have 50 people in the building, making meets hard and spectators impossible. If the county moves to "Moderate Risk," the number will go up to 100 and that will open some currently shut doors to having meets.
"I have a lot of kids returning this season," Georgesen said. "six of the kids are new. It is exciting to see their strengths. I am coaching kids that used the pool when they were small. That feels really good -- to see the swimmers grow up through programs offered at the pool."
Leading the way for the Indians are returning seniors Kyle Wilson, Sergio Mota, Anthony Ehleringer, Ryan Kyllo and Stephen Musella.
And while a successful season of any sort is uncertain at this point due to swim meets being limited, there may be a virtual alternative.
"The OSAA has allowed for virtual meets. This means our kids swim in our pool for a time, and another team, say Gladstone, swims at another pool for their times, and the results are merged," Georgesen said. "This is going to be harder on the kids, as they won't be physically swimming next to the other teams. It is very hard to replicate a competition. We are going to do all we can to host a couple meets."
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