Shady Spring Swim Team making splash both in pool and classroom


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Waking up before the sunrises is hard for a lot of people, especially when that time is 4:45 a.m. For swimmers at Shady Spring High School, this is their routine before school all winter long.

It takes a certain kind of person to wake up and jump in the pool at 5:30 a.m., not everyone is cut out for that. One would think waking up this early before a long day of school would make a student athlete exhausted, but it Ilya Vitvitky thinks it actually does the opposite.

“Honestly it has helped set a schedule, it helps me get out of bed in the morning and stay awake through school because you can’t really be sleepy after swimming in freezing cold water,” Vitvitsky said.

Clarissa Sutton, Shady Spring’s Head Coach, gets a lot of positive feedback about her athletes during the season. 

“A lot of their teachers will tell me that when swim season rolls around they are more alert, awake they are paying attention more.” Sutton said.

Sutton is proud of her team for what they accomplish athletically and academically. 

“We have very passionate kids who are very dedicated, they excel in the classroom as well as in the pool. It shows their dedication to the sport and their willingness to represent their school,” Sutton said.

Vitvitsky believes the pros of this sport out weigh the cons.

“I have the rest of the day free I don’t need to schedule around it, also it just feels good to work out early in the morning because it makes you more alert in class,” Vitvitsky explained.

Swimming is not a sport for everyone, but the ones who give it a try typically learn life lessons that cannot be taught in the classroom. Heather Rainey is a senior swimmer. She said she feels this to be true.

“Persistency is key, just keep trying you will eventually get where you are going or get better if that is your goal,” Rainey said.  

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