Swim team members go above and beyond

 

Zach Gregarek ‘14

 

Reporter

 

Ending the 2012-2013 swim season with a slowly breaking score board was definitely not the way the Girls Swim Team wanted to close the season. Without a score board, how are meets going to be tracked, times recorded, and how are the parents and fans going to know who is winning? They simply won’t. As the girls returned from their summer vacation, they came to the realization that the scoreboard is officially done for. Rather than give up, team members decided to all come together and figure out a way to fix this whole score board mess.

“We have a bunch of upcoming fundraisers. All us girls are selling candy bars for $1 and during the entire month of October, if you go to the restaurant Twisted Rooster in Chesterfield on a Monday, 10 percent of your bill will be donated to the swim team,” swim team member Tristan Zabicki ’14 said.

The total cost of replacing the broken score board is $65,000, so every penny donated will help!

“It is not going to be easy to raise that much money, but if we all fundraise and get our classmates to participate in our fundraisers, we can definitely do it,” Zabicki said.

Despite having the pressure of having to raise the money, the team still continues to work hard and practice every day. When most people think of athletic teams practicing, they automatically think it is only an after school activity. The swim team takes it a step further and holds both morning and afternoon practices to benefit their preparation even more.

Practices on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are held in the pool, while practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays are held in the weight room. Every girl has to go to at least three practices each week. Even if she attends the three morning practices, she has to be at practice every day after school from 2:40 until 5 p.m. Meets are usually held on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well. There is no doubt that this is a sport that takes dedication and endurance

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“I absolutely loved swim. It was by far one of my favorite parts of high school. You become so close with your teammates because you’re with them so much, it’s almost like you become a little family,” LCN alumni Abby Girard said. “Everyone is also so supportive of each other. It felt great going day-in and day-out, knowing I not only had my family and friends supporting me, but every girl on my team right there behind me as well.”

The girls have originally set some goals for the season such as winning the dual meet and placing in the county meet as well.

“Our main goal was to win the dual meet but unfortunately that’s not possible, St. Clair has already got us beat for it,” swim coach Mike Owensby said.

Even though there is no chance for the girls to win the dual meet like they had hoped for, they continue to carry on the grueling practices, especially in the morning.

Although the girls don’t appreciate or enjoy waking up early every day, they do appreciate the practices when they become better swimmers.

“I’d say the morning practices are one of the biggest challenges of being a member of the team. I mean, they start at 5 in the morning,” Owensby said.

“They’re definitely not my favorite part of being on the swim team, but I know it benefits me as a swimmer and will pay off in the end,” Zabicki said.

The girls still continue to compete. During the first week of October, the team was set to compete in the County meet and still continue to compete in weekly swim meets against other schools.

“We really don’t have a particular rival in swim,” Owensby said when asked if swim team rivalries are anything like LCN’s football rivalries that sometimes can be taken too far.

As much as all the girls on the swim team want to win, they try to take a tough loss and learn from it.

“The only thing we can really do is look back at what we did wrong or could have done better and try to go out and correct ourselves at the next meet, and of course, push ourselves in practice,” Zabicki said.

In some sports, teams will hold extra practices or carry practices on for a few hours longer if they know they have a big game coming up. It isn’t quite the same for swim.

“We prepare for every meet the same. There isn’t one team in particular that we think is tougher than another,” said Owensby, when asked if his team does any specific preparations for certain meets.

“I personally don’t think the swim team gets enough recognition. They practice just as much as any other varsity team at this school. I know I could never wake up at 5 to go swim every morning. Any LCN student that isn’t busy on a Monday night in October should definitely go to Twisted Rooster to help the swim team and our fellow classmates out,” Becca Sikowski ’14 said.