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  • Heidi Kraemer, Caylee Moore, and Maya Parafiniuk

The Aqua Owls

The strong, spirited Visitation Academy high school swimmers call themselves the Aqua Owls. They started the season off strong with Swim Across America to raise money for cancer research. Unfortunately, Swim Across America was cancelled seconds before they got into the water, due to the thunderstorm that had started abruptly. Your Aqua owls survived and thrived through the beginning of the season, practicing, and preparing for meets. Despite the Swim Across America cancellation our spirits were high, and they started the season off strong.


This swimming season has been nothing short of unpredictable. From icy weather conditions, broken glass in the pool, to viral illnesses all respectively taking their toll on the Visitation Swim and Dive team, this has been an incredibly challenging season for swimmers and divers alike. However, even having endured a rough ratio of about 5:4 meets to practices, this team has maintained a resilient spirit that refuses to quit. Waiting for the Brentwood YMCA pool to recover from the glass incident, the team was confined to only a mere hour at the Kirkwood YMCA. Despite the two lanes and the shortened practice time, the Visitation Aqua Owls managed to get in about a mile and a half of hard work in preparation for yet another meet, theis time versus John Burroughs. Although there will always be adversity, the Visitation Academy Swim and Dive team truly demonstrates that you must “just keep swimming.” 


There are two important events coming up for our Aqua Owls. Leading up to conference and state, the swim team often looks forward to a point in the remaining weeks of the season called “taper.” This is the point when practices become bursts of sprinting and long periods of rest; the exact opposite of what a typical practice would look like. However, to do this effectively, a swimmer needs speed. Although some remains, lots of this speed was lost somewhere between the two snow days, retreats, and cancelled practices. In light of this, it is safe to say that the team has their fair share of work cut out for them. However, this is no challenge for this determined team, only a bump on the road to success. They will continue to work hard and regain their speed in the coming practices. 


Thankfully, the season flew by (thanks to Christmas break, Kairos, the sauna incident, and snow days). The one-hundred-degree Brentwood YMCA pool may be shut down from the shattered sauna, leaving them with no pool to practice in, but it is all in God's plan, and the team trusts that He will guide them to victory at the state meet. They may not have a pool. They may not have enough carpool drivers. They may not have learned our cheer. But they have an amazing team full of aqua swimmers and divers surviving and thriving. It has been a great season, and they are so grateful for this opportunity to swim, and "Swim Fast" in the words of Paul Stoecklin.



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