Spring water sports forced to move due to pool heater issue

By Meghan Mansfield

Meghan Mansfield is a senior player for Lane’s girls water polo team.

In the middle of Lane’s water polo season and Physical Education (P.E.) swim unit, the pool has lost all heat. On Tuesday, March 21, a vital piece to the pool’s water heater broke, and which in turn caused the pool to quickly drop in temperature, according to Lane Athletic Director Brent Bradish. 

Even with the dropping temperature, Lane’s pool was in use throughout March 21. P.E. classes continued their swim unit, although with many complaints from students, according to P.E. teacher, Ms. Heveran. The JV girls water polo team played their scheduled game against Prosser, and the boys water polo team had their scheduled practice. 

On the morning of March 22, the girls water polo team practiced in the pool, and upon complaints regarding the water, the temperature was found to be 70 degrees. 

It was not fun, it was so cold,” said Girls Water Polo captain Martha Palmentara-Reid. “And then we did a Wednesday morning practice just swimming. And usually when you swim, you get hotter because you’re generating sweat and body heat. I was just cold the entire time.  “I could not feel my hands or my toes.”

The remainder of practices and P.E. classes were canceled for the day, and have yet to resume.

“Without any heat, the water temperature dropped more than ten degrees, so it is now at a temperature where we feel like it is not safe [to swim],” said Athletic Director Brent Bradish. 

In order to repair the water heater, a new part must be sent from a manufacturer in Canada — with an expected 7-10 day delivery period (as of March 22). 

“We should be back up and running in the middle of spring break,” said Bradish.

The water polo teams have had to adapt to continue practicing and competing without a pool. By adding more out-of-water conditioning and finding open pool times at the Chicago Park District and Lake View High School, they have managed to stick together and make the most out of their resources. 

“The effect of not having a pool to practice in has a huge impact on all the teams that use the pool. It’s difficult to do things outside of the pool that will translate into normal play in a pool,” Boys Water Polo Head Coach Matt O’Hagan said. 

With the expectation that the part will arrive during spring break, Lane will continue to hold their practices elsewhere in an attempt to stay in good standing during the pool closure.

“Depending on how long the teams are out of a pool this can have a negative impact on the end of the year performance for the teams,” O’Hagan said. “Not being able to practice and stay sharp on skills can make the championship tournaments difficult, although I believe we’ll be back in the pool soon and this will not be the case.”