Swimming into new beginnings


Uni lacks many sports other schools in the area offer, including Girls Tennis, Boys Football, and more widely Boys Swimming. Historically, founding a Uni Boy’s swim team has been a topic brought up numerous times, but drastic change has not yet been initiated; until now. Even without a team, this year, boys from all grades united to compete at the IHSA Swim Sectionals. At Sectionals, Freshman Robert Gao, Sophomore Ryan He, Senior Andrew Lin, and Senior Jake Regenwetter secured first in the 200’s relay, and Seniors Andrew and Jake both qualified for state.

With such consistent successful seasons, why doesn’t Uni have a Boy’s Swim Team yet?

Athletic Director Tim Bicknell explains he’s not against adding new things, but Uni is successful with what they have and states “Uni has tried new things in the past, but it hasn’t worked.” 

He also addresses many resource issues, including the lack of a designated pool Uni has an established program with, and permission to use from campus. He also notes money for coaches, uniforms, bus rides, officials, and renting places as a barrier to Boy’s Swimming. With swimming, a lifeguard also has to be present, to ensure safety. With talk about sports, competition also comes to mind. Boy’s Swimming is less prevalent in the area than Girl’s Swimming, and Athletic Director Tim Bicknell fears competition would be limited with the few local teams in the area. 

Adding and managing another sport would also add more to the Athletic Director’s plate, so would they also be compensation for that additional time? Athletic Director Tim Bicknell says he does not have these answers. Ultimately, he says if Uni had unlimited resources and funds, he would be more than interested in a Boy’s Swim team. 

Though, Uni does have one less boy’s team than girls, so if there were ever an option to add an additional boys sport, Boys swimming seems like a probable choice. 

That said, with a successful season and strong emerging Frosh class, the petition to start a Boy’s swim team has resurfaced. Larry Fahnestock, a parent of a Freshman on the team, has written a letter addressing concerns, signed by the swimmers and their parents. If the proposal is successful, players and parents hope for Boy’s Swimming to compete during the Winter season with weekly practices and meets. Ryan He, the designated captain of the upcoming season says if the act is approved, his first goal as captain is to get “making everyone shave bald before sectionals”, as for achievements “For people who aren’t the best at swimming to break personal records and show signs of improvements”. Freshman Luke Fahnestock, another swimmer actively involved with proposing a team, says there are about 10 people interested currently, so the possibility of a Boy’s Swim Team in the near future is not out of reach.