By Tina Schrage
While most of the student body left campus over winter break to visit families and friends, some students stayed behind to train for their winter sport. Lawrence’s swim team engaged in a very intense training schedule over break in order to prepare for upcoming winter meets and conference.
“All that hard work pays off,” senior Hayley Cardinal said. “For example, the women’s team beat [University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh] at our home meet on Dec. 11.” With a goal to perform to one’s best ability, the demanding training is necessary to succeed. Despite the difficult training, everyone is dedicated to being on the team and bringing their all to practice.
After training for two weeks on campus, the team traveled down to Florida for a week to train in an outdoor setting. “It is the most challenging and exhausting week of our season,” Cardinal said.
After returning to campus for Winter Term, the swimmers are now looking toward the first meet of 2016 at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The meet against IIT will offer longer events, such as the 200 yard event for each stroke. The team has not had many opportunities this season to race longer events, but are prepared to take on the challenge. This meet will help show where the team stands overall as they begin to prepare for conference, which is in February.
“I am extremely excited for the rest of the season,” Cardinal adds. “I reached some fast goal times during our meet against Oshkosh, so I am excited for conference to hopefully see our team together take down more school records, personal bests and maybe even make some NCAA B cuts.” Every meet from here to conference is a stepping stone for the swimmers to improve their performance.
The swim team has two main goals as they head towards conference according to Cardinal: continuously being supportive of one another and swimming their best. “We realize that we depend on each other quite a lot,” Cardinal commented. “Even though we may not want to swim a certain event, or if we are sick, there is always good pressure and encouragement from our teammates to push us.”
After several rigorous weeks of training and with sights set on placing in conference and flourishing as a team, Lawrence’s swim team will focus on competing at their best as they attend the future meets in preparation for conference.