Most Wisconsinites can’t wait for winter to end.
This year, however, it’s gone by way too fast – at least for some high school athletes.
“It’s kind of surreal almost,” North basketball player Hannah Martin said. “Like it doesn’t feel real. … It’s kind of crazy how it’s almost over. … It definitely went very fast, especially since it felt like the start date kept getting pushed back and pushed back. We were all anticipating it to come sooner, but it didn’t. It just went too fast.”
The Golden Raiders have at least one more game on their schedule, however, as they host a second-round playoff battle on Friday.
But the boys swim season is already over (North’s results from the state meet Saturday will be on our website)
“We’re just thankful we had a season; we wish it was longer,” South coach Peter Toutenhoofd said. “Normally in swimming you do a taper, which is basically science-based, but you build up your season in a specific way and then cut yardage dramatically towards the end with some other specific principles to have your best times. We actually posted 93% best times at our final meet at sectionals. So we were still able to have a successful season.
“However, we probably would’ve dropped more time, spent more time correcting techniques for some of our newer swimmers. It’s just different. It still felt as long, because there were so many new stresses. But definitely shorter in the overall aspect of the sport.”
South’s swim squad normally has 13 weeks of a season, but this year had around six.
The regular season in girls basketball came to an end over the weekend, and South and North played just 11 games apiece because of the delayed start. Last year, each school had 22 regular-season games.
Toutenhoofd says he’s blessed to have a season because his team is young and needs to continue to grow, but having only three duals, a conference championship meet and then sectionals was stressful.
“There was never a second to breathe,” he said. “There was never a second to take some time to help some of the younger guys learn a couple of extra things we always like to do. If you put enough hours in the water, you’re going to learn how to swim. On our team, we have kids that have never swam before. Kids that are not comfortable in the water on the first day of practice. They’ve come a long way to become a swimmer. It’s not easy.”
Times are a bit different for Martin, too.
Once basketball season ends, she has to get ready for the start of volleyball on Feb. 22 because falls sports were switched to this month and next.
The first day of practice for the girls swim season actually began on Monday.
“It is very weird,” the senior said. “Because with the end of basketball season, I’m thinking this is going to be the last time I’m going to play on our court, but it’s not. I’m going into another whole season.”