Take a dive! Brooklyn College bans Midwood HS swim team from its new pool • Brooklyn Paper

Take a dive! Brooklyn College bans Midwood HS swim team from its new pool

The Midwood High School swim team — with coach Lenny DeVirgilio — doesn’t have a pool of its own. In fact, the team has to use its opponents’ pools for practices.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Brooklyn College has a message for the swim team of the high school located across the street: take a dive — someplace else.

The city-run college has barred Midwood High School’s swim team from using its new, eight-lane pool — the crown jewel of its $115-million expansion — despite the fact that it let it’s high school neighbors swim in its old pool for years.

That changed five years ago, when the college shut that pool down to construct a new fitness center — and the college has locked the door to high schoolers since the new pool opened last year.

The shallow dis is a stroke of bad luck, said boys coach — and Brooklyn College alum — Lenny DeVirgilio, who hoped his jocks would be able to return to the nearby waters to avoid the hassle of traveling to rival high schools James Madison or Fort Hamilton for practice.

“I thought that they would open their doors to us,” he said. “It’s a big disappointment”

The college had no problem flexing its gills, claiming the pool’s schedule is so full it can’t let its young neighbors — or any other groups — take a dip.

“We don’t have any outside groups coming in to use the pool,” said Alex Lang, the assistant sports director. “Our pool is scheduled for activity pretty much the entire day.”

The captain of the boys squad doesn’t understand the shark attack.

“We have one across the street from us and instead we have to use one further away.” said Andrey Moiseyenko. “It sucks having no pool,”

Moiseyenko said that being a fish in foreign waters has been oar-ific for his minnows, who must practice after 5 pm to accommodate swimming schedules at the other schools, and usually don’t get home until 8 or 9 pm to do their homework.

But Midwood’s gritty gliders refuse to be beached and are surging onwards despite being one of only two teams in their division without a pool to call home. The girls team made it to the city quarterfinals, and the boys made a big splash after drowning their rivals — and locker mates — in last week’s “Battle of Bedford” contest at Madison.

Hornet coaches said they appreciated the generosity of their host schools, but being denied access to the college pool had sunk some of their aquatic hopes, including forming a diving team and adding new members.

The Brooklyn College pool is open for paying users from the community and the college everyday, according to the college’s website.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow his Tweets at @from_where_isit.

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