BloomU Swimming Makes Long Awaited Return to Practice

Jackson Dixon, Contributing Writer

As of October 7, the Bloomsburg University Swim Team has been allowed back into the pool to start practicing, with newly implemented safety protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Normally the swimmers start mandatory practice in early September, however, 2020 is not a normal year. This season, the swim team was not allowed access into the pool until October 7, due to the pandemic. As part of the NCAA’s resocialization plan, the university has taken steps to ensure that the practices are as safe as possible during these uncertain times.

According to Dr. Michael McFarland, Bloomsburg University’s Athletic Director, the swimmers will practice in groups of 12 and each group will use separate time slots throughout the day. Each time slot is an hour long with an hour gap between to prevent overlapping of groups.

Swimmers will only be allowed to enter through the lobby, where their temperature is taken, and leave through the back door. Swimmers will have no access to locker rooms and are expected to show up with their swimwear on underneath their clothes.

While in the pool, there will be 2 swimmers per lane, with the swimmers starting from opposite ends. The lanes are 7 feet wide, so that swimmers who are adjacent to each other will be properly distanced.

Practices during the first week will only be 30 minutes of swimming for 3 days of the week. In the second week of practices, the time restrictions will be extended to 60 minutes of swimming for 3 days of the week. After week 2, all remaining practices will be 60 minutes for 5 days per week.

Matthew Marvin, a swimmer in his junior year at Bloomsburg, was asked what he did to stay in shape while the pool was closed.

“While the pool was closed, it was pretty hard to stay in swimming shape, so I took it upon myself to work out more than ever before since I was missing out on time in the pool.”

Later, when asked how he felt about the new safety protocols put in place, he added, “Honestly, I applaud the university for allowing us to get back. Although I can’t speak for other sports, I think we are doing everything right and remaining as safe as possible. We haven’t had any problems yet, so fingers crossed.”

Another swimmer at Bloomsburg, Jace Fry, had this to say, “Swimming has been such a big part of my life and being out of the pool has been hard. I really hope we can have a season.”

As of now, the season is set to start January 1 with the PSAC championship set for April 21.