Seven members of the Sioux City Spartans qualified for the state meet this Saturday in Iowa City. And all seven of them come from different Siouxland schools. Making this year’s pool a bit of a melting pot.
“When you dive together in swim practice then you have this bond, even though you don’t know each other too well, there’s still a bond there,” said sophomore swimmer Kohen Rankin.
“It’s a unique bond because you don’t get to see these guys every day,” said junior swimmer Owen Hoak. “So the 2-3 hours you have at practice is the only time you get to spend with them and get to know each other.”
This is a team built around the fraternity of swimmers. But they’re not just having fun… they’ve been putting in the work to make sure they’ll compete come Saturday.
“I make morning practice optional,” said Spartans head coach Eric Hoak. “They all come to that morning practice. So that’s an hour every morning, and they’re here for two hours after school. That’s somewhere close to four miles that they swim every day.”
“I haven’t missed a morning practice this entire year so it’s nice to see that what you put into it you get out of it.”
It’s become a tradition for the Spartans to bleach their hair for the state meet, but this year, they decided to take it a step further.
“Owen’s our team captain and we all kind of look up to him and he said ‘all right, this year we’re doing mo-hawks,'” said junior swimmer Easton Gillinne. “And everyone was slowly okay with it but it took a while.”
“It’s fun knowing everybody here is like that but walking around school it’s a little different. Everyone’s giving you funny looks.”
The Spartans have been working since November, and hopefully, they can bring a title back for all seven schools.