Splashin’ Around on Dunbar’s Swim and Dive Team

The Dunbar swim and dive team is looking to continue their successful streak in the upcoming season.

Unlike most sports, the swim and dive team has more individualized schedules. Members practice with various club teams such as Bluegrass Marlins and Palomar while others practice with Dunbar; however, they all come together for swim meets.

This year, practice started in October and their first meet was held on Nov 23.

Typically, a practice is three hours long and they practice swimming and technique along with weight lifting and strength workouts. They also work on team bonding, unity and helping everyone to reach individual and team goals.

“We practice on endurance and technique in practice; swimming a stroke correctly leads to faster times rather than just moving your arms quickly,” said senior Adam Harter. “Our team encourages cheering, and I think this really motivates us. We like to work as a team at practice and at meets because we wouldn’t stand a chance alone.”

Aside from the differing practices of individuals there lots of things that separate swim and dive from other sports. Because the pool that Dunbar uses for practice doesn’t have a diving board, the swim and dive team can’t practice together. The meets are also separate sessions, but typically the dive team will go right after the swim meet ends. The two sports themselves are also very different.

“Swimming is a sport of stamina and movement where the scoreboard is time. Diving is more of an art and strength with movement through air where judges make up the scoreboard. It’s subjective whereas swimming is straight forward with scoring; both require dedication,” said junior Madison Dedman.

The swim team is led by head coach Sydney Witzky and assistant coach Cole Pleasants and the dive team is coached by Jamie Palumbo. Coach Witzky grew up in Nashville and swam for Nashville Aquatic Club, her high school’s swim team and then for the University of Kentucky.  Her coaching career started when she was 14 for her neighborhood summer league team and last year she found her way to Dunbar and became the head coach.

Assistant coach Cole Pleasants swam for Dunbar from 2005-2010 starting as an eighth grader; however, he didn’t start coaching here until last year.

“I could not be more excited to be back on the pool deck for another season with Coach Witzky,” said Coach Pleasants.

Dive coach Jamie Palumbo is also excited for this season and has defined plans on helping the dive team reach their goals.

“I believe that the best divers are the ones with the most solid foundation, so we have been working on a lot of fundamentals starting with the basics,” said Coach Palumbo. “We have worked on a lot of take-off drills which will allow the divers to get more height and bring their distance in, as well as being able to work on some higher degree of difficulty dives later in the season.”

Coaches say that both teams have been working very hard this year to accomplish the team goals of placing third at state and winning regional for the 7th consecutive year.

With new unity and teamwork exercises and building bonds along with swim technique, the swim and dive team is anticipating another successful season.