Pitter patter, splash, splunk! The sound of rushing water underneath the kicking feet of Tiger swimmers engulfs the atmosphere at the natatorium. The echoing epicenter of everything water sports related is home to many activities, and not just the girls and boys swim teams. The Natatorium is also the home of swim clubs like FAST, and it hosts community use and swimming lessons.
Photo by Samuel Bauer. The main attraction of the natatorium, being the pool, stretches 50 meters long and 25 meters across. These parameters for the pool match that of pools used during the Olympics all over the world. “Right now we have the pool set at 25 yards, which allows the lanes to be shifted over creating more lanes and more flexibility,” boys and girls swim head coach Joe Keller said.
Photo by Samuel Bauer. After entering the doors of the main entrance to the natatorium, the smell of chlorine is present. When walking a bit further, the reflection of the many banners and pennants can be seen on the surface of the water. Also seen are the diving boards and what’s called the ‘starting blocks’ which swimmers use when jumping to start a race.
Photo by Samuel Bauer. Walking further on, the size of the high jump diving boards begins to take effect when moving closer to them. They stand in a pair at roughly 5 meters above the surface of the water, and the waters depth below is around 12 feet below. “Unlike the west pool, the depth of the east pool or the diving side begins quite deep and gets shallower as you move down towards the middle,” Keller said. “The west side actually keeps a relatively uniform depth the entire way down the lane.”
Photo by Samuel Bauer. Next to the diving boards are the starting blocks which compose of a base and a wedge. The base or block is where an athlete will place their foot, usually with their toes on the edge to provide more pushing power. Their other foot is placed on the wedge, which is the little fin-looking piece towards the rear of the block. This whole concept is similar to the starting piece track runners use in the Olympics. The natatorium uses 10 of these starting blocks.
Photo by Sam Bauer. Children learn how to swim with the help from tiger instructors on the afternoon of Jan 21. They learn a variety of skills needed to increase their swimming ability, such as the breaststroke and paddle method. They also learn how to stay afloat using the back float and front float methods.
Photo by Sam Bauer. Lifeguard junior Ryan Arnett watches over the pool on Jan. 21 for anybody who may need his help. Lifeguards are trained in retrieval and revival methods for being able to help incapacitated people within the pool.
Photo by Sam Bauer. Left to right, senior Emily Blackford, sophomore Catie Laverty, and Noblesville freshman Brett Lush discuss what to do during the swim instruction on Jan. 21. Communication is key for the instructors because it keeps the children safe, while also providing them with instruction that guides them in their learning experience.
Photo by Samuel Bauer. The most noticeable aspect of the pool itself is the divided lanes that sheet over the glossy water. The Natatorium is split into two sections, the east pool with vertical lanes and then the west pool with horizontal lanes. Each lane is split with a plastic floating divider keeps athletes in their lane when the race is on.