The Dangers of Swimming


Danny Mulhern fr., swims in the individual medley.

Tate Weaver, Writer

Swimming in high school has many complications. Over the past month, four members from the Kennedy Varsity Men’s swim team had a common incident of injuring their left foot.

Junior Zach Johansen, commonly participates in the 200-yard individual medley, and either the 100-yard backstroke or butterfly.

“I went to Naruto run into the pool, and I slipped on the deck and smacked my foot in the gutter. I stayed at practice and went to Urgent Care the next day, and they gave me an x-ray. I had a fracture in my foot” Johansen said.

Junior Reese Manternach, swims relays, 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races. Manternach recently swam in a relay for the home Kennedy meet against Dubuque Senior on Jan. 16, but came to a surprise after his race when his left foot was split open by the wedge (a piece used to lift a swimmer’s back foot up when starting).

“I had to go to Urgent Care to get four stiches in between my toes and my foot,” Manternach said.

Senior Dawson Gibbons, similarly to Manternach, swims the same races. However, over the past weekend of Jan. 20, Gibbons injured himself.

“At the conference meet, I messed up on a flip turn and hit my feet wrong, and tore off two of my toe nails,” Gibbons stated and concluding, “At the meet, I went over to the medic and had them wrap it up and got back to racing.”

Sophomore Weston Turner, a 100-yard butterfly swimmer injured his foot during practice when attempting a flip turn.

“I got out because my foot hurt and got back in, then I got back out because it still hurt, then coach Thompsen asked if I was getting back in, I said probably, then Thompsen looked at my foot and said no you’re not,” Turner said. “I only made it the next few days with crutches and a lot of ibuprofen.”

In all cases, the injuries were preventable with more practice, and an enforcement in rules. Manternach wished “just leave the wedge to face the right way and not on the ground.”

Meanwhile, Johansen assures the team with, “I now sit and slide in and no more Naruto runs.”

Gibbons portrays a simple standpoint of “not being stupid.”

Turner just explicitly states, “Don’t swim, but if you do — don’t do flip turns.”

Swimming is coached by Coach Sean Thomsen and his three assisting coaches. Swimming is done over winter and is finishing off its 2017-18 season as the varsity swimmers travel into their championship season.

The men’s swimming team has districts at Linn-Mar this Saturday, Feb. 3, and the state swim meet is on Saturday, Feb. 10 at Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.