The high school swim season has officially come to an end, and with that an era too. January 23, 2020, the Eagles swam their last meet in the current Dover pool.
With construction underway for the new high school, there have been many changes. For the swim team, that was the demolition of their pool. For many, they grew up in that pool. This is where they made most of their friends, learned to swim, but most importantly made many memories at this pool.
“All of our close races, laughs and cries together,” senior Taylor Mills said about her favorite memories. For alumni Madelyn Kinard (2019), her favorite memory was during a practice when the team was resting at the wall in between sets, suddenly Coach Richard Janosky (who just happened to be carrying a printer) slipped on the deck and dove right into the dive tank, tossing the printer on the way down. He wasn’t hurt, and the team got a good laugh out of it. “This is just one of many memorable moments, nothing was ever dull at that pool,” Kinard said.
For sophomore Austin Smith, his favorite memories were made with Dover Area Aquatic Club (DAAC). DAAC, founded in 1980, is a club for swimmers in the district ranging from all ages. Through DAAC, young children are able to take swim lessons from current high school and alumni swim team members. Every year, DAAC holds a Pentathlon where students ranging from age 5 to high school seniors can swim. Many alumni and current high school swim team members were a part of DAAC at one point in their swim career.
For alumni, like Rhonda Zortman (1990), seeing the pool gone is a bittersweet feeling. “Everytime I would walk into the pool, it just brought back memories; seeing it, smelling it, looking at the old record board. I will miss the way it makes me feel. I will never be able to walk into the new pool and feel that way again,” she said.
For the current students, they’re excited for a new pool. Sophomore Kennedy Coble stated, “I’m excited to see what the new pool looks like, but I’m sad to see the old one go since we all grew up there.” For the seniors, they will never get to experience the new pool as a swimmer, but for Mills, she’s looking forward to see what it brings to all the underclassmen.
The old pool was extremely outdated. Equipment was falling apart, and the walls were cracking. “We were definitely just swimming in a giant cave puddle, there was hardly any natural light,” Kinard said. The students are most looking forward to a new and improved space. “Hopefully the new pool will have more deck space, better blocks, and equipment that isn’t falling apart,” Smith said.
For both alumni and current students, it’s a bittersweet moment to see their childhood pool gone. However, the pool may be gone, but the memories and bonds made there will last a lifetime. As Smith stated, “The new pool is just a different space, everything else will still be normal.”