A look behind the scenes of the swim team

Jordan Wolf, Staff Reporter

De Soto High School has added a boys’ swim team to its repertoire of winter sports. As it is new and somewhat unknown to the students of DHS, many may wonder what goes on behind the scenes.

Practice is held every day after school at Indian Trail Middle School in Olathe. The team shares a bus with Mill Valley, who practices with De Soto, to get to the pool.

When they finally get in the water, the swimmers do a variety of drills and exercises. The workouts are tiered to each athlete, and there are several things going on at once.

On average, each swimmer swims 2,500-5,200 yards per day. Each workout consists of a warm-up, a drill, a main set and a sprint set.

The team is coached by Alissa Ruffin and Alex Morris. Ruffin is a math teacher at Monticello Trails Middle School and a former competitive swimmer. Morris is currently enrolled at MidAmerica Nazarene University, where he is studying secondary education.

“We have a variety of abilities in the pool, so even with only six lanes of swimmers, we have three different workouts taking place. We want to make sure the workout is tiered toward the ability of each swimmer,” Ruffin said.

In total, there are eight swimmers that come from DHS. One of these swimmers is sophomore Patrick Cunningham.

“It’s a lot of fun to practice,” Cunningham said, when asked about his favorite part of swimming. “It’s a lot different than running track or something. Just being in the water, where it’s cool and refreshing, makes the workouts a lot better.”

Ruffin and Morris are responsible for determining what the swimmers do in the water and what will prepare them for their meets.

“[The coaches] are really cool and informative. They can help a lot, especially to the kids that aren’t very good at swimming. So far, they’ve done a good job at preparing us,” Cunningham said.

The team usually returns to the school around 6 p.m. after each practice. From there, the swimmers will have to go home and rest for the next day’s practice.