ASD swimmers bond, shine in Shanghai season-ending meet


This year's ASD Dragon swimmers traveled all the way to Shanghai on an overnight flight from Hamad to compete in their season-ending meet. Lots of travel and wait time strengthened bonds among an already tight-knit group.

Lojain B., Reporter

ASD’s swim team just competed in a swim meet in Shanghai, China, where 23 schools competed.

The Shanghai meet was not the MESAC season-ending competition ASD athletes have traditionally attended, but rather a substitute competition in which ASD athletes could participate. Because of the ongoing blockade against Qatar, Dragon swimmers were not allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi. This year, the ASD Athletics Department arranged for ASD’s swim team to pair with other schools and compete in a much larger competition in Shanghai in early November. Most other schools brought younger swimmers in other age divisions in addition to their top high schoolers.

Despite having a much smaller team than their competition, the Dragons showed how enthusiastic they were about the opportunity to compete.

They broke 14 school records and in total achieved 197.50 points.

Other highlights included the girls’ 800-meter freestyle where K. Girard (’23) earned the team’s most points in that event, a total of 9. In the girls’ 100-meter breaststroke, P. Hampel (’20) earned 9 points, the highest total of anyone in that event, and M. Prodanovic (’23) finished with the fastest time in the girls’ 100-meter freestyle event, 1:11.09.

Dragon teammates enjoyed catching up with their former coach Beck when she made the trip to see them race at Shanghai American School.  Photographer: April Toxey

Older members of the team were thrilled about the opportunity to reunite, at least for the day, with Ms. Kari Beck, their beloved former teacher and coach, who now works at Nanjing International School in China.

Many of the team captains said they were very proud of their younger swimmers in the competition.

“Younger swimmers,” said W. Waddell (’20), “[for the] first time competitively swimming, [and] the three new coaches all did a wonderful job.”

Team captains contributed to the following video by the ASD’s AV Club, where they commented on how much fun the travel and competition experience was, and they expressed their gratitude to Athletics Director Dave Farmer for the opportunity to compete despite the travel restrictions prohibiting their attendance at the MESAC meet.

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