Star swimmer sidelined

Injury leaves skilled swimmer out of water this season

Anjali Pullabhotla, Staff Writer

For any athlete, an unpredicted injury can have the worst of consequences. While being benched is the most immediate, for athletes like Luke Eichmann there is also the growing uncertainty of the future.

After tearing his ACL in a game of Ultimate Frisbee and injuring other parts of his leg, including a sprained meniscus and MCL, Eichmann will be out for all of his junior seasons.

His surgery, on Nov. 15, a mere three days after the season officially began, will be what actually takes him out of the water.

“When I found out, my first thought was: ‘all these years of training, and I’m going to be out for the apex of my [career].’ It sucked,” Eichmann said.

By completing rehabilitation therapy, Eichmann will attempt to make a comeback his senior year, but it may not be enough.

“In swimming, it’s not like football where it’s a seasonal thing to stay in shape. You have to swim every day, year-round, twice a day, to even be able to compete. So, to take about six months off, it’s probably going to end my [state] career,” Eichmann said.

Still, that does not make him any less of a qualified and valuable asset to the team.

“Luke is a very driven athlete who has worked extremely hard to get where he is,” head swim coach Andy Cunningham said.

As a freshman, he qualified in three events for the NSAA State Swimming Championship and finished as a finalist in the 100 fly.

As a sophomore, he qualified in four events for state which is the maximum number one can take. He finaled in all four events- 100 Breast, 200 Individual Medley, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay- breaking personal records in the 100 Breast and 200 Individual Medley.

This year, however, he will be forced to spend the season on dry land.

Under the guidance of Cunningham, Eichmann will coach his teammates from the sidelines in order to help the team achieve their goal of winning state as well as keep team morale up.

“Luke is an experienced swimmer who knows what he is talking about. He’s also super charismatic and willing to help whenever, which will make him a great coach,” varsity swimmer Shaunak Datta said.

While an injury like this may be unprecedented, Eichmann still has the potential to succeed- going from the sidelines to once again, being a star.