With swimming and diving meets being affected by social distancing rules this season, the Wildcats are pushing through the new normal.
“First of all, it’s been tough to compete this season with all the changes implemented and the restrictions in place,” said Jerica Warrington. “It makes it harder to feel like a team since we have to stay at opposite ends of the pool - or at least 6 feet apart. But we are doing our best every day. We’ve come up with cheers and a bunch of little different ideas to show support and encouragement despite remaining socially distant.”
After all, Waconia is used to battling through adversity, competing in the toughest conference and section, the ‘Cats are constantly taking on the best in the state.
“Competing in the strongest section in the state has always been a major advantage,” Warrington said. “We race against some very fast people and it pushes us to always to our best. No matter what team we compete against there is always a race to be won, and I think that is a rare thing to have. I will definitely miss our section and conference next year.”
With those tough battles come big moments. Two weeks ago, the Wildcats won the final two events to sneak past New Prague, needing to win the 400 freestyle relay to defeat their conference rival.
“Thus far, I would say the highlight of the season would definitely be competing against New Prague,” said Warrington. “It was a really intense meet and one we had greatly underestimated. It was a great show of strength and our determination as a team. Especially in the last half of the meet where every single one of our swimmers stepped up, from JV to Varsity we had outstanding swims. I can still feel the pool vibrating with my teammates cheers, I hadn’t been in a pool that loud since the last time we had our parent-spectators there.”
That win was followed by another victory last week, when the Wildcats defeated Dassel-Cokato, swimming the last two events exhibition in a 91-83 win. The wins were sandwiched between meets against some top-10 teams.
“I think all things considered, we’ve done amazing this season,” said Warrington. “Despite most of us having a very short club season to prep us for this year we have had so may girls with top times. We continue to beat our opponents and have some really great races against the strongest teams in our section. Remaining positive this season has been an essential factor in all of this, and just being grateful to be in the pool at all is the greatest motivation factor.”