One Year After Harvey, Kingwood High School Reopens Pool

One year ago on Tuesday, Houston and surrounding communities were in the midst of hunkering down as Hurrican Harvey unleashed an unprecedented amount of rain and flooding along the Texas and western Louisiana Gulf Coasts. The storm, which didn’t bring the typical wind damage associated with hurricanes, moved very slowly, meaning that for 3 days in August, it basically sat over Houston, dumping constant rain, flooding bayous, breaching reservoirs, and forever changing the course of the country’s 4th-largest city.

While there were many human tragedies to come out of the story, ones that reached far beyond the relatively-frivolous athletic pursuits of the local schools, among the impacts of the storm was the flooding of Kingwood High School, home to one of the state’s best high school swimming programs. The nearly 3000 students that attended the school finished out their academic year by splitting the school day with Summer Creek High School. The school’s pool was heavily damaged by the flooding displacing the athletes.

On Tuesday, the school officially re-opened the Kingwood High School Natatorium, celebrated with a fully-clothed cannonball from one of the school’s principals.

Troy Ahrens documented the reopened facility here:

While the hurricane and subsequent flooding ravaged the community, especially parts of the city that are less financially resilient to disasters than Kingwood, it also built bonds and brought out the best in its citizens. JJ Watts’ $41.6 million fundaiser has been officially declared as the largest crowd-funding effort in history, and Kingwood’s swimmers came together after the storm passed to help their community rebuild.

The Kingwood girls’ team finished 5th at the 2018 state meet, while the boys finished 3rd.

The Mustangs were Texas State Champions in swimming on the women’s side as recently as 2011, and both teams are frequently in the top three. Kingwood has been home to several National High School Record holders in its history and has one of the most prestigious high school programs in state history since it opened in 1979. The boys’ program has 6 state titles and the girls program has 4.

SwimSwam’s Coleman Hodges visited the area in early September to hear about the families’ Harvey stories. See his report below:

Blue Tide Aquatics Heals From Harvey Through Swimming (Video Report)

 

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MIKE IN DALLAS

My sister lives quite close — and yes, it was/is a BIG DAY when the natatorium reopened – and it looks GREAT!
At a time when some schools might just as soon SKIP rebuilding the pool (football is king (pun intended!),
Kingwood HS came through 100%!
BRAVI!

Welllllll

Kingwood did build an indoor turf field in addition to completely renovating the field and the old field house for the football team. Football is still king, but they have more than enough money to go around.

Mike

The team (Blue Tide Aquatics) that the majority of the KHS swimmers come from, took 5th at Texas Age Group Championships, and 4th at Senior Southern Zones Champs. All while practicing with 6-10 swimmers in a lane! They didn’t just survive, they thrived!!

BTAalumni

From someone who swam at the old KHS pool for many years and had it and the Blue Tide Aquatics team and coaches help build a strong foundation for my career to becoming a World Record Holder, this is amazing news for this school and town and those kids on that team now! Great news to know that it is back up and running for the new school year.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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