The Northgate Swim Team: Underrated

Abby Collins, Staff Writer

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As a high school in the South, where Friday nights in the fall are associated with stadium lights, it is safe to say that Northgate is enthusiastic about its athletic programs. Each fall, I, along with every other student, busy myself with concerns regarding the next Friday night football game. We show up with our most extravagant costumes on and our school spirit skyrocketing, all for the purpose of cheering on our beloved team. In addition to football, Northgate is also excellent at showing support for its other various sports teams. Both students and staff take pride in their excellence. However, I believe that one significant group of athletes is often overlooked.

At approximately 5:00 a.m. on any given Thursday during the winter, you can count on the Northgate High School swim team to already be diving into a pool of cold water. These twenty-one male and female students express their dedication to swimming by working hard, beginning hours before the sun comes up; all season, this hard work has paid off.

This winter, the Viking swimmers have competed in eight GHSA swim meets across Georgia, and their performance, as always, has proven exceptional. Coach Becky Lowery describes the current swimming season as “…a building year.” While this is true after the graduation of many of last year’s phenomenal swimmers, the Vikings have continued to improve their race times, and they have consistently earned high ranks at their meets. Specifically, the girls placed fourth out of seventeen at their first meet of the season in Jonesboro, and they were among the top third of teams at the University of Georgia’s Clarke-Oconee Invitational. In addition, top male swimmer T.J. Pittenger has crushed numerous state-qualifying times, and top female swimmer Jade Takvorian is currently fractions of a second away from doing the same.

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, the Northgate swim team competed for one last victory in the Coweta County championship meet. The meet took place at 6:00 p.m. at the Summit Family YMCA in Newnan. While it was a tight race against East Coweta High School, the Vikings swam fast to defend their championship title from last season.

As a second-time Northgate swimmer, my membership with the team has been nothing but an honor. Like my teammate Christina Reagan exclaims, high school swimming is an excellent sport because “…it can be an individual sport and a team sport simultaneously.” For any student desiring to join a school sport, I highly recommend swimming. Sarah Cutts, who decided to tryout this year, states, “I’ve been able to form some really close bonds with great people. Also, I’ve been able to stay in shape, and it gives me something to look forward to on rougher days.”

Swimming is definitely overlooked in the realm of high school athletics; with the craze of more popular sports happening, most students do not recognize the importance, strenuous effort, and notable successes of the swim team. However, this factor does not sway the performance of Northgate’s swimmers. After reflecting on their 2018-2019 achievements, it is evident that the swim team has dominated this year’s season.

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