Xavier Sports Spotlight: Interview with Mr. Applegate on Swimming


By Sam Rector, Reporter

Here at Xavier, the winter sports season is in full swing. Our basketball, ice hockey, and swim teams have all played incredibly well during a challenging season. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many adjustments have been made to how Connecticut’s sports have functioned. This is especially true for swimming.

On March 3rd, I had the chance to talk with Mr. Applegate, who is a science teacher and assistant coach of the swim team at Xavier. We talked about how their season has gone and what has been different about their competitions. Read on for the interview.

Sam Rector: How has this swim season gone in general?

Mr. Applegate: So far we’ve done well. A lot of the swimmers have stepped up and done well under challenging and shortened conditions. Right now, the team has a record of 4-1 (as of 3/3). We lost to North Haven 88-82 with the first virtual meet of the year, we got a nice win over Cheshire, and we got wins over Amity and Prep as well.

SR: What are your expectations for the team going forward?

MA: Moving forward, we’re building and keeping the championship experience as the end goal and hoping that we can finish out the season with wins, take the season title, and then perform well in the virtual championships and hopefully take the SCC title home again.

SR: What is different about the format of the meets this year?

MA: As far as the actual running of the meet, there’s not a whole lot different except for the fact that we can do it when we have a pool and the other team does it when they have a pool, and the times are then transferred between each other. This past weekend we swam on Friday, Cheshire didn’t swim until Saturday so we didn’t know the results of the meet until thirty hours after the meet ended for us. 

SR: How do you make sure all the results are reliable?

MA: Each of the pools does have officials at them, and they sign off on the times for their respective observed meet that they have, and then the times are transferred. There is a level of trust amongst the coaches, but there is also that double-check that the officials are there. 

SR: Have the virtual meets gone smoothly so far?

MA: They’ve gone about it as smooth as you can. Obviously, there’s nothing quite the same as having that swimmer right in front of you or having that opponent right there that gives you a little bit of an extra push to get through, but the nice thing is we have a lot of talent on the team from top to bottom and pretty much everyone has a race with someone on the team, so there’s at least someone there to push everyone in their races to get close to that meet mentality. It definitely does require a lot more mental toughness this year. In some cases, a lot of races come down to a couple tenths of a second, and had they been in-person, who knows what would’ve happened. 

SR: How is the postseason going to look?

MA: Through the week of March 20th-27th, teams have to schedule a time to have their end-of-season meet, and they then do each of those meets at their facility. The times are put together across all the teams and combined for the SCC rankings. As far as states go, there is no state competition, but they are collecting the times from all the teams to award All-State recognitions.


Best of luck to the team as they wrap up their regular season on March 16th and move on to the SCC Playoffs!!