On Friday 10 March, MCE had its annual swimming carnival at Ryde Aquatic Centre. The day started bright and early at 8am, when the bus of swimmers participating in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly arrived for these events with a side of butterflies in their stomach. This kicked off a day that was action-packed, exhilarating and full of energy. The atmosphere was intense and continued to rise as costumes were put on, the Year 9s and 10s started to fill the stands to be added with Years 7 and 8 shortly after. Then questions were asked: will it be Elliot for another year or could the ultimate underdog, Leopold, flip the switch?
A change in venue from Hornsby to Ryde Aquatic Centre meant that this Swimming Carnival contained new experiences, not only for Year 7, but even for the adjusted Year 12s. Nevertheless, students thoroughly enjoyed the Centre and some suggest that even though the conditions were slightly squishy, the closeness to each other caused an eruption in excitement to carry on throughout the day.
NOVELTY EVENTS (25m POOL):
Throughout the day in the 25m pool, novelty events such as ‘noodle races’ were occurring. The Under 13s started off the day here, with Leopold thrashing the other houses on the noodles – could this be their year? Students definitely agree that the novelty events was a great way to exert energy without the nerves of competition, especially as a starting taste-tester for the rest of the day. The pool novelty included races with each House and was a fantastic way for Juniors to feel the responsibility of representing their House.
Another favorite activity of the students throughout the day was the dodgeball competition held on the internal basketball courts. Mr DePasquale (event co-ordinator), in an interview, stated: “There was a fair bit of corruption going on, particularly in the older grades.” But overall, it was just a bit of fun and friendly competition. Dodgeball was new to this year’s Carnival, and reports suggest it will be a keeper for many years ahead.
WAVE RYDER / BIG SLIDE:
However, by far the favourite event of the day for many was the unique attraction the ‘Surf Ryder’ – a ‘surf simulator’ – that allowed students to have a go on surfboards and show some of their skill (or lack thereof!). For many students, this was the most looked-forward-to event of the day. A group of Year 7 students, over-emphasised their exhilaration: “It’s definitely better than a school day!”
As we didn’t have access to our usual facilities (due to renovation), more time was spent in the stands this year, as enthusiastic supporters. While this was a concern to some students before the day, it ended up giving us a remarkable atmosphere of support, competition and excitement. Many teachers were impressed by the increased amount of effort put into costumes this year, being described as “well spirited” and “out of the ordinary”. Several favourites included a Wrestler (Liam Brombal), Ninja Turtle, Giant M&M, and especially the inflatable red guy. The atmosphere even boosted the hopes of Leopold, with veteran Leopold homeroom teacher Mr Herbert stating: “I don’t want to jinx us, but there’s a much better spirit this year. Go Leopold!” And even Mr Brombal said: “I can’t believe we have a chance!”
After all the novelties of the day were over, everyone packed back into the Centre to support the relays. The cheering was (reportedly) heard back at MCE, which should give you some idea about the atmosphere inside. We watched Maloney dominate the relays from Years 7 to 12. However, Leopold house captain, Lachlann MacCrae finally got a well deserved victory for the Year 12 relay that sparked a spirit in the red and gold stand.
And then it was time for the last race, the big kahuna, the show stopper! The moment where even the teachers filled their lungs with air, to be vibrated across the pool – the all-age, student and staff relay. Each House had a representative from each Year group (7 through to 12) as well as a member of staff. Mr Breen for Maloney, Mr Fallico for Elliott, Mr Woolford for Cusack and, for the first time, Mr Scott for Leopold. In the end, Maloney, leading from start to finish, was victorious and the house erupted into chants, cheers and screams.
Finally, the presentations of age group champions and runners up occurred. As the presentations were occurring, there was a surprising twist. As Leopold claimed ownership of under 12s runner up, their spirits to oppress took a heart shattering turn; unfortunately that runner up, was the only representative for Leopold.
Everyone was noticing that Maloney was receiving an unusually large amount of Awards, and surprisingly Elliott was far behind. Suddenly we were facing the fact that, for once, Elliott may have some competition on its hands – a certain fierce bull, a courageous MALONEY! And when Mr Woolford revealed that for the first time in 10 years, Maloney had won, we can safely say that even Leopold jumped to their feet in celebration, as finally, the ‘untouchable’ Elliott was actually ‘touchable’, sitting in stunned silence at their defeat. Elliott finished in 2nd place with Cusack in 3rd and Leopold coming home strong – continuing their consecutive 4th place streak. We continue to live in hope that one day Leopold will live up to it’s motto “Audaces Fortuna Iuvat” (Fortune Favours the Bold). But for now, a win for Maloney is a win for the underdogs, a win for the hard-workers and a win to go down in MCE history
We would like to thank Mr Tim Aussel, Mr Nathan Breen and Mr Brad Guthrie for all the time and effort they put into organising the day as well as all the other members of staff who worked tirelessly to make the day a memorable experience for all. Year 7 definitely came home with a smile on their face and an excited attitude for next year.
SOME QUOTES FROM THE DAY:
Samuel Huxley Year 8: “The amazing Swimming Carnival showcases the school’s attitude towards team spirit and care in the Marist way.”
Mr Heywood: “It’s got to be Elliott.”
Mrs Bacash: “I think Maloney might have it this year.”
Mr Nicoll: “It’s good.”
Overall, perhaps the day is best summed up with a quote from Mrs McLennan: “It’s going swimmingly”.
Written by Jayden (905) & James (1004)