Tosa West Girl’s Swim Team Survives COVID-19


Wauwatosa West students on the Varsity Girls Swim Team sit together before competing at Sectionals.

Daisy Lehman, Writer

After months of training while social distancing, the Wauwatosa West Varsity Swim and Dive team attended sectionals competing against 10 other schools at Waukesha South High School on Saturday, November 7th.  

At sectionals swimmers can compete in 12 events to try and qualify for state. Of the 9 West swimmers who competed at sectionals, one qualified for the state meet, Junior Lauren Malinowski. Malinowski will compete at the state meet on November 14th for her third year in a row. She’ll be swimming in the 100 and 50 yard freestyle.

I used to get nervous for these competitions when I was younger, but now I feel super excited to race hard and most importantly have fun,” said Malinowski, talking about how she feels about competing at state.

This year’s swim season was like no other, thanks to COVID-19. The swimmers were required to wear masks the whole time, except the two minutes before their events. They were allowed to take them off and swim, but then right after they had to put them back on. Also, during practices they were required to socially distance and spread out in lanes. 

New students found the masks made it difficult for them to get to know their teammates.

 “With COVID it was hard because it wasn’t as easy to get to know the team. It affected it quite a lot because all of the team events were cancelled, and there weren’t as many bonding activities we could do to get to know each other. Also many of the meets were cancelled, so we practiced but weren’t able to swim at meets,” said Keira Dicastri, a freshman JV swimmer, talking about the ups and downs of the season.

There seems to be less hype than before among teams and athletes. There are less teams competing this year because some seasons were cancelled, so I am grateful I could still have an opportunity to swim during these unprecedented times,” Malinowkski said, talking about how past swim seasons compared to this year’s COVID filled one.

“The swimming part wasn’t bad, since we didn’t have to wear the masks. The only part that sucked was that right after the race, you were breathing really hard, so that was difficult,” said freshman and varsity swimmer Zoe Kunz.

Despite wearing masks and social distancing, students felt that the season was a positive experience.

“Even with COVID, it was still really fun! We didn’t get to do all of the team stuff, like outside of swimming. I think in a normal season, we’d do things like fundraisers, or team sleepovers, but we still did have carb crunches, and those were socially distanced,” Kunz shared.

Yet, Kunz stressed that those looking for a sport or just a place to belong should check out swim. 

She said, “For next year please join us! Swimming is so fun and such a different experience than any other sport! We are all very close and we all practice together! Please join, you don’t even have to be good or know the strokes. We’d love to have you!”

Giovanna Palazzolo concurred and offered that “Anyone interested in the Tosa West swim team, please join! Honestly, swimming is a lifelong skill for anyone and everyone! 10 out of 10 would recommend it!”