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Buffalo school swimmers fighting to return to competition

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MIke Desmond/WBFO
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The Buffalo Public School girls high school swimming team isn't being allowed to compete this year. They're relaying their displeasure to district officials.

Swimmer  Alexandra Switalski says the team was invited to participate in another league's championship meet.

"We were unable to because we have not been given the go-ahead from Buffalo Public Schools to swim."

The team typically swims at City Honors. The pandemic has stopped that.

"It’s part of the high school experience, being on a varsity sport and it’s just a lot of fun and it’s a great way to make friends,"Switalski said.

"It really creates a sense of community."

An accomplished swimmer who also competes for a club team out of the Flickinger Center, Switalski expects to swim the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle events for SUNY Binghamton next year.

"I’ve already been through the recruiting process but, the high school season is crucial in the recruiting process for sports like swimming," Switalski said.

"The juniors this year, this is a very important time for them. So, for them not to have a season, it really hurts their chances of getting looked at by some of their choice colleges."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.