Trinity swimming dives into season

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Trinity swimming dives into season

Current senior Julia Faust executes a flawless breast-stroke in a meet from last season.

Current senior Julia Faust executes a flawless breast-stroke in a meet from last season.

Olympus Staff

Current senior Julia Faust executes a flawless breast-stroke in a meet from last season.

Olympus Staff

Olympus Staff

Current senior Julia Faust executes a flawless breast-stroke in a meet from last season.

Practice before school, school and then practice after school: the typical life of a swimmer from the beginning of November to the middle of February. Swimmers have to deal with this life for almost four months; however, the end result is always worth the sacrifice of time.

The girls team currently has a record of 1-0 and the boys team currently has a 1-0 record as well. The season has just begun for both teams, but the Hillers and Lady Hillers look to compete at Pitt once again in the WPIAL finals, as well as take this season one step further by travelling to Bucknell University; Bucknell is the sight of the PIAA finals this season.

The swim team is in its second season being coached by Luke Modrak, the high school building substitute. Modrak started the morning swim practices last year, which was a culture shock to most if not all of the team. The practices are from 5:30 a.m.-7 a.m. Getting out of bed in the early hours of the morning and then driving to the middle school in snow and temperatures below zero is not the ideal start to the morning, however Coach Modrak would disagree.

“To one extent, they actually level the playing field, or bring us up to where most programs are already, which is why it was one of the first changes I made last year. It’s additional time for work, plain and simple. Mornings have been around forever in the swimming world. They enable teams to split workout focal points and for athletes, there’s de facto time management.  And ultimately, it is great prep for an ultimate goal – for us, that’s swimming in Finals at Bucknell (the site of PIAAs): you race in the morning, what we call Prelims, hoping to be one of the top finishers so that you can come back and race again at night in Finals,” stated Coach Modrak

“The morning practices were difficult to get used to at first because we had to wake up an hour and a half earlier than we usually do for a typical school day and our bodies had to get used to doing two hard workouts a day on those days. Overall, I enjoy morning practices because it allows me to stretch and clear my thoughts before school while I swim and it wakes me up and ensures I am alert for Calc in homeroom,” stated Senior Julia Faust.

Swimming is different from most sports in that there is not any film to watch. Viewing what the opponent does will not help. While this may seem obvious, the main way swimmers get better is through continuous practice.

“The biggest difference is just the repetitive nature and the necessity of being there. Ryan Lochte, in one of his wiser moments, said a while back on his short-lived reality show that “one day out is actually like missing two days,” and it’s a great simplification of our sport’s training because of its biomechanical and physiological nature. Another one, at least for me, from most other sports is the approach. What is done each practice and each meet impacts the next practice, the next meet, and the final meets. It’s out of necessity that we in part take a backwards design approach in our seasonal plan because in order for us to meet our goals – WPIAL cuts as the main benchmark – we have to look at what it will take to get there. And because the win/loss element isn’t the determiner of postseason fate, it really emphasizes that one gets exactly what they put in,” commented Modrak.

Swimmers have the option of participating in one of four different styles of swimming. These styles are the freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. There is also a medley, which is a combination of all four types of strokes. These medleys can be done individually or as a team.

The swim team has a total of eight practices each week, with two and a half hour practices after school each day, three hour practices on Saturday mornings, as well as the morning practices on Mondays and Wednesdays for an hour and a half. This may seem extremely demanding to those who are not a part of the swim team, in addition to those on the team, however, all of these practices help the team reach their goals.

“The focus for swimming is always on the clock. The race is against the clock for personal improvement, meet wins, and WPIAL qualifications. The girls are AAA with more difficult times and are looking for more qualifications than last year. The boys are AA with easier times and are looking not only at more WPIAL qualification but also for PIAA state qualifiers. At the end of the day, however, the one universal goal is to drop time,” stated junior Patrick Bryant.

“As a team, we are working toward bettering ourselves, our techniques, and our times. We hope to have numerous qualifiers for WPIALs this year in both the girl’s AAA and boy’s AA sessions and our largest goal is probably to have a swimmer (or swimmers) qualify for the state PIAA competition,” commented Faust.

The swim team has a long season ahead of them filled with meets and practices. Be sure to go out and support the swim team in their next home meet on January 3 at 6:00 against Moon!