|Forest Hills Northern-Eastern||86|
|Forest Hills Central||100|
After weeks of preparation and twice-a-day practices, the Forest Hills Northern-Eastern boys swim team finally geared up for their first dual meet on January 18th. Swimming against Forest Hills Central, the boys prepared for their meet with vigor and excitement. “[Preparing] for the first meet, we went through winter break with a really intense practice schedule: twice a day, one and a half hours in the morning, two and a half hours in the afternoon. Then we tapered down to work on sprinting and speed work,” senior and captain Jesse Yang shared.
As Northern-Eastern’s biggest rivalry, the FHNE vs Central swim meet is always packed with tension as each team is desperate to establish itself as the top team in the district. Because of their split from a singular, combined Forest Hills swim team in the 2019-2020 season, many of the boys competed against former teammates, and even friends, as the two teams still share one pool. “Going into the meet, we were pegged as slight underdogs, but this year the gap between us and Central felt smaller than it ever has,” Jesse stated. “We all felt good about the condition of our team,” fellow senior, Kaden Douma, added. Regardless of the two teams’ prior camaraderie, for one night, FHNE and FHC set aside their friendship and forget their rankings to battle it out in the water.
Once the meet began, with 11 swimming events, one diving competition, and an incident with the scoreboard, the evening trundled on, but nevertheless Kaden reflected that “everyone seemed like they wanted to be there and was very supportive of their teammates.” “Whenever we race against Central, there’s both a really competitive environment and a friendly one, ” Jesse declared, emphasizing that the FHNE vs FHC swim meet is unlike any other. Unfortunately, at the time of the meet, several top FHNE swimmers were quarantined due to Covid-19, but regardless, “everyone tried their hardest and came out successful in their personal times,” Kaden reported. In the end, though the boys swam hard and had a successful meet individually, with a final score of 86-100, FHC emerged victorious. However, despite their loss, Jesse and Kaden both believe their team is on the up-and-up, getting better and better every season. “Our upcoming meets are against Byron Center and Northview, and we’re set up really well to win those. I think we can finish in the top half in the conference this year,” Jesse said hopefully.
As always, swimming is typically an unpopular spectator sport, but nonetheless the swimmers encourage students to come and they appreciate any attendance they get. “Knowing your classmates are in the audience really pushes you to do your best,” Kaden shared. And, with the swim team getting better and better every season, swim meets are sure to be an entertaining event in the future. The FHNE boys swim team competes every Tuesday and their meet schedule can be found at fhesports.net.