Air Academy Swim Deserves More Clout


The AAHS boys swim team poses for team photo.

Some could say the Air Academy swim team is a part of the athletics program that does not receive enough recognition. There crowd-size at swim meets has never matched up to the audience of an average basketball or football game. Along with this, there is rarely anything about the swim team in announcements or on the AAHS Instagram page.

Even though the team barely has any swimmers, Mr. Newell and the student leadership attempt to make up for the lackluster fanbase.

Coach Newell dedicates hours upon hours of his time to further the physical and social development of his team.

“He gives us every opportunity to be better and it’s up to us to take advantage of that,” said Luke Elliott, a sophomore who started swimming for Air Academy this year.

The seniors of the swim team provide leadership and show what the Air Academy swim team can be. Senior Griff Ayotte swam for Air Academy throughout high school and has been swimming for most of his life.

In regards to the Air Academy team, he said, “Each year this group of guys gets harder and more determined to get the job done.”

Griff shows potential for what the swim team can be. He has committed to swim for the Division II powerhouse of Queens University of Charlotte in college and is considered to be the sixth best swimmer in Colorado, according to College Swim. He won second place last year at the state competition in both the 50 and 100 free. He also was awarded All-state first team by CHSAA/MaxPreps. 

Griff is just one of the swimmers who makes up this dedicated team and has experienced the thrill of competitive swim meets.

The atmosphere of a swim meet is electric. More specifically, how the athletes react.

Witnessing a swimmer deal with defeat is something everyone, no matter what stage of life, can relate to. The final stretch of a swim meet is filled with anticipation. Spectators pupils expand and they hold their breath as the last milliseconds flash before their eyes and they question what they just saw.

Everyone at the meet spins their heads around to check the times, then everyone checks for the athletes’ reaction. Most are crushed. They swam their hearts out, gave it their all in the final stretch, checked their time—and their face instantly fell. Either they lost the race they wanted to win or came short of breaking their personal best.

The boys and girls of the AAHS swim team then go home, recuperate and get ready to kick butt for the next meet.

The next weeks consist of spending hours trying to shave milliseconds off of their times. Whether that is mastering technique, hitting the weight room, or consulting Coach Newell to make themselves better. Athletes then go from lifting weights to lifting each other up.

The physical side of swimming is only half of what makes a successful swimmer. Seniors take it among themselves to lift younger teammates as well as themselves. After this grueling proccess, swimmers are ready for the next meet.

This time, as the swimmers check their times, they are filled with a euphoric feeling and a smile as the feelings of defeat and devastation are long forgotten.