Waccamaw swimming underway after start of season was delayed by COVID-19 | Georgetown Times

There’s no question about it, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult on high school sports teams to prepare for the 2020 season.

For Waccamaw High School swimming, it has been especially difficult.

According to the South Carolina High School League, swimming practice was supposed to start on Aug. 17, but the start date was pushed back to Sept. 14 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Waccamaw High School assistant swim coach Fabio da Silva coaches his team at practice at Island Green Amenity Center on Thursday. Danny Kelly/Staff

Danny Kelly/Post and Courier Myrtle Beach

“That was really challenging,” Waccamaw assistant coach Fabio da Silva said. “I didn’t think we were going to have a season just because of the pandemic. All the schools were having issues to host meets, to host practices.”

The Waccamaw swim team practices at Island Green Amenity Center in Myrtle Beach.

“Being here already helps because I know everybody here, so we talked to them and they let us do the high school (practices) here,” da Silva said.

However, it was difficult at first for the team to find meets to compete in.

“So once we got the team together, we were thinking OK, now we’ve got a team together, but we don’t have swim meets to go (to) because there are no meets being held in Myrtle Beach,” da Silva said.

Myrtle Beach High School ended up hosting a meet, but Waccamaw was not invited.

“They (City of Myrtle Beach) let them host meets, but only for their division, so we could not go,” da Silva said. “So that made it even harder for us because we are 3A those guys are 4 and 5A.”

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But luckily for Waccamaw, the team finally found a meet to compete in at Sumter High School on Sept. 21.

It ended up working out for the Warriors even better than expected with the girls’ team finishing in first place with 85 total points, edging out West Florence with 83 points.

“(It) was great because the Waccamaw girls, they’ve never won before since we started the high school team back in ‘07,” da Silva said. “So it’s a pretty strong team.”

One of those swimmers is junior Molly Tate, who finished first in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, and also helped the team finish first in the 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay.

Tate has high expectations for herself and the team this season.

“I’s like us to get as many people to states as possible,” she said. “I’d like to place at states.”

Waccamaw has already had five swimmers qualify for states, including Tate, Nina Sitas, Ella Speir, Savannah Jansky and boys’ swimmer Cameron Bonham.

Waccamaw High School boys’ swimmer Cameron Bonham swims with a kickboard at the team’s practice at Island Green Amenity Center on Thursday. Danny Kelly/Staff

Danny Kelly/Post and Courier Myrtle Beach

Bonham is the only swimmer on the boys’ team. Although Waccamaw finished last overall in Sumter in the boys’ standings, Bonham finished first in the 500-yard and 100-yard freestyle races.

“(I want) to enjoy this season,” Bonham said. “It’s my last year. Kind of hard to do it anyways, but (I want to) just have fun and enjoy it and compete as hard as I can.”

The state meet will be in North Charleston this year. Girls will compete on Oct. 10 and boys will swim Oct. 12.

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