METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Metamora may have the only swim team in central Illinois that has to check the forecast for practice.
That’s because for the first month of the season, the Redbirds practice outside.
“We will until the chlorine runs out or the weather gets cold,” said Metamora head coach Shane Morrison. “It doesn’t look like the weather will be cold soon. We’ll probably have to run out chlorine first before the weather gets cold.”
The Redbirds, who don’t have a home pool, train at Metamora’s outdoor public pool. And that puts weather into play.
Like last week.
When the temperatures were in the high 90’s and the heat index cleared 100, it’s no fun for anyone. Including swimmers at Metamora who will tell you practicing in those conditions is anything but a day at the pool.
“It’s been really hot and the water is heated by the sun,” said senior Sophia Funderburk. “So it’s just as hot as the air. It’s not that amazing as people might think.”
Just like other teams playing outdoor sports, Metamora had to adjust practice and move them to the evening to beat that intense heat. Swimmers sweat and get dehydrated too.
“Your face gets super hot and red,” said senior Tatum Points. “You try and put it in the water to cool off but the water is just as hot.”
Next month, Metamora moves practices to the pool at Richwoods High School, which it rents out.
But the Redbirds look at the bright side. They say juggling practice facilities and swimming in the heat makes them a stronger team.
“I think some our success is the the way the girls bond. The way the nature of our team is, they are already coming in mentally prepared for the season,” Morrison said. “Knowing what they have to do. They don’t walk down the hallway to go to practice.”