Girls’ swim knocks off a speedy Viera team


Heather Reid Photography

Girls’ team captain Layla Auter dives off the block and anchors the 400 free relay.

The girls’ swim team defeated Viera High — whose swimmers are notably fast — 98-85 at Fee Avenue on Thursday. 

“We knew all week it was going to be a really close meet against Viera,” Layla Auter (12) said. “They have a really good team and some really good girl swimmers.” 

Expecting the difference in points to be minuscule, she was pleased with the results. 

“With it being such a close meet and us gaining such a large difference compared to the one-point difference we were expecting, it was very exciting,” Auter said. 

The boys’ team lost 91-79, but Auter and senior Logan Ehlers expressed pride in their effort.

“We tried our best, but Viera had more swimmers,” Ehlers said. 

Viera had around 30 boys, and West Shore had about 10.

“The boys were able to keep them from reaching 100 points, which is really, really hard with what we had,” Auter said. “We’re really proud of the boys, even though they lost.”

Because of Covid-19, the team doesn’t have as many swimmers as it normally would. The virus has also led to precautions at meets.

“We have to wear our masks at all times except for when we’re about to go on the block,” Auter said. “What we do is we keep Ziploc bags with us, and right before you go on the block, you take your mask off and put it in the bag, you race, you get out, grab your mask, put it back on, and it stays on for the whole meet.”

The implementation of masks isn’t the only way meets have changed. The boys’ and girls’ events would alternate under normal circumstances, but they took place at separate times for this meet. 

“It didn’t affect my times when swimming much but it was a weird atmosphere with minimal cheering and not very many people,” Ehlers said. 

In addition, the pool is split, with the opposing teams on different sides.

“In my 500 on the Thursday meet, I was right next to a Viera girl, and I was trying to pace her the whole time and stay ahead of her, but if I had been in the other lanes, it’s not as easy to see her,” Auter said. “It definitely makes things a little more challenging when you’re not squared by your opponents.”

Despite Covid and the changes it has brought, Auter said she feels grateful to be able to swim with the team. 

“We’re lucky enough to be having swim right now, so we’re very, very fortunate,” Auter said. 

By Caroline Scott