Story by Kena Haun
The men and women of Palomar swimming have dived back into the pool with a balanced blend of returning standouts and new competitors.
Returning swimmers include Jarad Altman who placed 9th last year at the CCCAA Championships in the 1650 freestyle while qualifying in three events at this state competition for the men’s team.
The women’s team has two athletes returning that won at state in the freestyle event, Violet Stewart and Madalyn Johnson.
According to the head coach, Jema McAdams, “This is a group that works pretty hard and they understand that aspect of swimming.” It is apparent that there is an equal part of enthusiasm and energy exuding off of the longtime head coach, when asked about his expectations for the swim team.
McAdams states, “Expectations are the same every year, we train hard, and our goal is to swim fast at the conference championships in the middle of April. Two weeks after the conference championships are the state championships for people that make it.”
The secret to successfully competing at the end of the year is simple to Jem, “The key is, we train hard and that we understand what we do with training and that we enjoy it.”
This appears to be genuinely true of Jem’s coaching, all of his swimmers were smiling in between their practice drills.
The atmosphere of enjoying the swim environment and the people in it, starts with the coaching staff. Coach McAdams smiles as he told me about working with his assistant coachof 27 years, “Scott Lawson does a lot of the physical training, because he likes this part of the program, I deal with the other logistics.”
That is not to say that the coaching tree is entrenched in their ways, “we have another young coach here and he is one of our former swimmers, Gregg Moffitt, and he is very knowledgeable about swimming. It is helpful to have three of us overseeing the program and we just use each other’s experience.”
This year’s swim team is balanced from the swimmers to the coaches with experience, energy, and enthusiasm. Coach McAdams defines the success of a season by simply stating that, “Success is swimming our best times at the end the season and having an enjoyable season.”
- Swim Day: Taylor Hardey/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved