Wilson athletes benefit from pool training


Courtesy of The Beacon Visuals

Alex Cirino, Max Karp

When we think of track, we tend to imagine runners sprinting. Likewise, when we think of baseball, we picture people playing catch or running bases on a field. What we don’t think of is athletes running up and down pool lanes, wearing blue floaty belts, holding kickboards above their heads, then jumping out to perform 25 push-ups and hopping right back in. This happens to be a reality for Wilson’s track and baseball teams, which frequently use the aquatic facility for cross-training workouts.

The boys and girls track and cross country teams have started incorporating workouts in the pool as supplemental training to their on-field activities. Being the first DCPS team to win the DCSAA cross country championship, the Wilson girls cross country team owes its success to its grueling training schedule. The team holds morning practice two to three times a week.
Some of the runners also choose to use the pool on their own time. According to running coach Emily Farrar, juniors Talya Lehrich and Ava Nicely took the extra step to maximize their preparation for the DCSAA Championships. Farrar is a strong believer in the importance of training in the pool, as well as cross-training in general. After experiencing a stress fracture in her back during college, working her way back to full recovery was not an easy task. She had the privilege, however, of being able to use an underwater treadmill and a pool as a part of her rehabilitation process. Farrar describes the pool workouts as non-impact. “If you check your form you can learn a lot from the training which will ultimately increase your fitness level,” she said.

In addition to the track team, Wilson’s baseball team has used the pool as a part of their workout program for many years. Using the pool to maximize their arm exercises, the team is poised to earn their 26th consecutive DCIAA championship and the 2018 DCSAA championship. “The pool allows us to do more arm-based workouts in order to assure that we are in the best shape possible for the season,” junior Collin Bosley-Smith said. Pool workouts for the baseball team begin in the mornings during the offseason, allowing players to demonstrate their commitment and will to improve.

The aquatic center also offers many other activities, giving people of all ages the opportunity to benefit from various pool activities. From swim lessons to water aerobics classes, residents of the District are able to take advantage of the free amenities of the pool and utilize them for their personal benefit. Robert Allen, an employee of the Wilson Aquatic Center, has noticed the plentiful benefits of having pool-based workouts in his many years as a Department of Parks and Recreation employee. “The pool is a competition-level facility that gives people access to many different activities,” he said, adding that it is a great alternative to other facilities given that it is free for DC residents.

The Wilson aquatic center continues to serve the Wilson and the greater DC community as a free, beneficial facility that serves many purposes for people of all ages.