The pool has been set, with blue and white flags in place, and the smell of chlorine is in the air. The teams are ready and Lincoln High School’s Carter Noyes is prepared to compete. This is Noyes’ fourth year as a member of the Lincoln High swim team, and he’s competing in his favorite event, the 100 fly.
It’s obvious that this is a meet entirely different from years prior. Athletes sit apart, donning black and blue Lincoln High School masks, and safety from the unprecedented COVID-19 epidemic is a top priority. Yet the stress of the pandemic and changes surrounding his sport hasn’t stopped Carter Noyes- he’s helped his team break three of Lincoln High’s records in relay swimming. According to Noyes, another one of his achievements was “having the pleasure of giving motivational speeches before certain meets”.
Of course, practice always makes perfect. When discussing how he trains, Noyes said the following, “In a regular season I would have practice 4-5 days a week, and I would practice around two hours a day.
Swimming has also been a long time passion for Noyes. “I started swim lessons when I was six years old, so about twelve years ago. I got my start in competitive swimming when my parents wanted me to get a little more competitive. I was recommended to a swim program in Rocklin, and I climbed from that to a more advanced and competitive program. I started competing at meets with other teams in the region there”, he said.
When asked about what he appreciated most about Lincoln High School’s swim program Noyes responded with, “It’s a family, honestly. We’re not the best program, we don’t get the most funding, but we’ve never had a problem with not getting along”.
When asked about Noyes’ incredible contributions to the swim team, Coach Justin Patterson stated, “Like many of our athletes, Carter worked hard and was always trying to develop and become better. Carter was always willing to do what is best for the team and was always one of the biggest supporters of his fellow teammates. Of course Carter had one of the loudest voices on the team, which was a good thing, and he was always willing to use it to encourage and motivate his teammates. Carter’s positive attitude, character, and work ethnic will be missed next year”.
Coaching a sport during this unprecedented time of COVID has been extremely difficult for coaches on campus, and when asked on how he adapted to this different swim season Patterson stated, “Even though this season was a shorter season, it was still very overwhelming. There were many changes we had to deal with throughout the season. We went from our start date being March 8 to February 1 all within the last week of January. Overall, I am glad we were able to have a season and keep all of our swimmers healthy throughout the season. It was a fun season to see a lot of improvement from our swimmers given all the restrictions and changes from previous seasons”.
Despite the challenges of this year, the future for Carter Noyes and Lincoln High School’s Swim team still looks bright. When asked about the future of LHS Swim, Coach Patterson said, “My plans for the future of swimming at LHS would be to continue to build our program and continue to develop great student-athletes. I would really like to see LHS start a water polo team because water polo and swimming go together very well and just help build each other’s programs. I would also like to see the community of Lincoln build an aquatics facility that could support the City of Lincoln’s aquatic programs and the two high schools’ aquatic programs. I know it is a lot of money to build a pool/aquatics facility, but the community is growing and swimming is starting to be a bigger part of the community”.