Sports Stories

Sedona Red Rock High School’s swimming team has an annual tradition that is somewhat out of the ordinary.

It had its annual 24-hour relay on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Sedona Community Pool. Every member of the team, including head coach A. Jay Bronson, took turns swimming for an entire day.

This was the eighth edition of the event, which also serves as a fundraiser to buy the following year’s swim suits and the hotel rooms for the current season’s regional meet.

Several tents dotted the pool deck area where all 32 Scorpions swimmers congregated to eat, lay on hammocks and even connect online to play video games.

Unable to leave the confines of the pool, it creates a bonding experience for the team.

“I personally love the 24-hour relay,” senior captain Brittany Medel said. “I definitely look forward to it, where we all bond and get to know one another.

“Especially camping out. It’s something not every sport does, so it’s unique.”

Swimmers were grouped into six teams of five swimmers. Each swimmer swims 1,000 yards. Every swimmer gets about two hours of rest before they go again, and they are not required to swim at a certain pace.

Even for a newcomer with no prior competitive swimming experience, it was a good time.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” senior first-year swimmer Justin Wassell said. “It’s pretty cool because I’m with all my senior friends and I get to hang out with them. You get a workout with swimming, you get to chill.”

Teams continued that way until 1 a.m., when they were combined into two larger groups.
All told, they swim about 10,000 to 15,000 yards across the entire 24 hours, a steep amount.

“I go home, I put everything down and I sleep all day,” Medel said. “I wake up the next day and I’m still tired.”

It is not until about 11 a.m. to noon the next day that they begin to get anxious, with the finish line beginning to come into sight.

Medel said her favorite memory was last year, passing the time with her friends and teammates.

“At 2 a.m. we were huddled in the corner eating pizza and listening to music,” Medel said. “It was a fun experience looking at the sky and enjoying the night.”

Food was donated by the Sedona Fire District, Famous Pizza, Pump House Urban Eatery and Market, Szechuan Restaurant and by parents and athletes.


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