Yenna Chong '23
Note: This article is nearly two months old.
A couple weeks into the swim season and right before Thanksgiving break, the Close Swim Team has its first meet of the season–the annual intersquad Blue and Gold meet. The entire team is divided between blue and gold, and like NCS's famous purple-gold rivalry, you stay on that same color team throughout high school.
This year’s Blue Gold Meet was particularly exciting for the swim team because it was our first time not having crazy covid-protocols like our season last year (I even missed this event last year because I had covid!). Throughout last year’s season, we had to have split practices to minimize the number of swimmers in the water and wear masks on deck. So, at this year’s meet, it was wonderful being back together as a team, decked out in blue and gold accessories, cheering at the top of our lungs for our teammates without masks.
Close Aquatics never fails to finish the season as a close-knit (pun-intended) family. And the Blue and Gold Meet is crucial to the development of our team spirit and relentless cheering for one another’s events. It familiarizes us with our teammates, gets us into our competitive mindsets, and most importantly, it is fun bonding time. Hence, this meet marks the start of building not only our skills, but also the team’s relationship.
Captains Helen Yingling and Sophia Rees enthusiastically shared their opinion about this year’s Blue Gold Meet and the team-bonding we experienced. Sophia exclaimed, “I was a little worried about spirit since the team is much smaller this year, but I thought there was lots of camaraderie at the meet. Also, I think it was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better because there were less people! Even when people were about to race, they would cheer on for the person currently racing and give them a high five when they finished.” It is safe to say that we witnessed very supportive energy. In addition, Helen remarked, “The blue and gold meet is always one of my favorite meets because I love getting to cheer on my friends and teammates in their events and indulge in some friendly rivalry.”
The bonds formed on the swim team transcend grade and even school boundaries. Helen noted that that “[the] swim team is a close family because even though we know how to work hard and push through in a difficult set, we can always find ways to have fun even in the dark winter months: from secret Santa to Saturday team lunches to moments in the locker room before and after practice.” These moments with my teammates are what make being on the swim team one of my favorite experiences in high school. Every season, at Blue and Gold meets, I would witness how the team quickly bonded throughout the day, and how those relationships only get stronger as the season progressed. The energy at this Blue and Gold Meet showed me that this year’s team would be no different. I can’t wait for our accomplishments and I am so grateful that my last year on the team is with such an energetic, supportive Close Aquatics Family.