As second quarter begins, so does the dreary session of winter sports. However, one winter sport has big goals this year. The Boys’ Varsity Swim team is out to take down the reigning champions of section 2 for forever now, Shenendehowa. The past few years, the swim team has come out from relative obscurity and has moved forward to become runner-up at sectionals last year. In the past three years, the Shaker team has continuously progressed upwards. Three years ago, the Shaker team took down Bethlehem Central, a team that Shaker hasn’t beaten in 47 years. Two years ago, the Shaker team took down Niskayuna, another team that Shaker hadn’t beaten in almost as long. Last year, the Shaker team took runner-up at sectionals. If this keeps up, they will take section champs this year, but Shen is still dominant. Rumor has it that if Shen goes undefeated again this season, they will have had 100 consecutive dual meet wins. True or not, another loss against Shen can not be allowed. Shaker has come so far in the past few years. Shaker has amassed a team of prominent swimmers, who are ready to take on Shen, especially with the improvements to the Shaker pool.
The Shaker pool has been here forever. In its prime, it was the place to swim. Sectionals were even held at Shaker. However, with age, the pool has lost much of its previous luxury. The air quality of the pool has particularly suffered from time. Dust that has collected everywhere was preventing practices from being productive, because the swimmers could not breathe. There was always someone at the wall coughing their lungs out. Last year, the team had to be transported all the way to Ravena to have actual practices, since practices at Shaker caused too much coughing in the swimmers, to the point that everyone thought they were going to get lung cancer in the future, even though it’s not like they bathe in chemicals for 2 hours a day anyway. However, the new system has made the air much better. The pool air is actually breathable. Practices can occur without anyone coughing. New additions are going to be made in the future. However, these expensive additions only go to show that there is no way Shaker is getting a new pool any time soon.
To break down the possibilities of how its going to go down at Sectionals 2015, the Shaker Boys could take backstroke, breaststroke, and IM, which is the full set of strokes all in one event, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, free. Shaker is also known for its free sprinters, since Shaker includes most of the kids from the Adirondack Bluefins Swim Club, where sprinting is emphasized. This creates the opposition between Shaker and Shen, and this demonstrates the race to take events at Sectionals. Points are given to top 8 for each event. In previous years, Shen has had more swimmers in these top 8, granting them higher point totals; however, Shaker has been graced with a new team of excellent swimmers. Currently, there is a new all-around swimmer that could make it to States as a freshman, a huge accomplishment in itself. This swimmer was preceded by another almost prodigy of a swimmer, 3 years ago. These two swimmers could dominate the breaststroke and the IM. Two other swimmers could probably take the backstroke from Shenendehowa, since the previous champion of backstroke in section 2 has graduated. However, Shaker still can’t forget about Bethlehem, with two of their swimmers being the actual best backstrokers in section 2. The past few years have been characterized with huge improvements, defeating teams who used to seem unbeatable.