Athletes of the Week: Nick Craker and Chelsea Hameister

Nick Craker: Swimming and Diving

Nick by Paul Wilke1) What got you to start swimming?

My sister started swimming one year before I did. I went to all of the meets, and I decided to swim rather than sit on the side and watch.

2) What is the hardest part of swimming?

Practice is definitely the hardest part of swimming. Some may see it as swimming back and forth a bunch of times, but there are certain intervals, yards and strokes that require a lot more work than others. Also having slower times than my younger brother is pretty hard to take, but it is motivation that I use, but it usually never works.

3) Do you have a pre-game ritual that you do before every meet?

Not really, a couple of us just joke around on the pool deck, but I wouldn’t really call that a ritual. I also listen to music to get me ready for my races.

4) What has been your biggest accomplishment with swimming?

Getting 6th place in the 400 free relay at state my senior year of high school.

5)    If you could have lunch with any famous swimmer, who would it be, and why?

Ian “Thorpedo” Thorpe, he holds some records that are pretty impressive, and he has a pretty cool nickname.

Chelsea Hameister: Swimming and Diving

1) What got you to start swimming?Chelsea by Paul Wilke

I’ve just always loved the water, so my parents signed me and my brother up for the swim team when we were younger, and I fell in love with the competitive aspect of swimming.

2) What is the hardest part of swimming?

The hardest part for me is the mental part—at every point in a race, your body and mind are just yelling at you to stop, but you have to push through and keep going.

3) Do you have a pre-game ritual that you do before every meet?

My pre-meet ritual just involves blasting pump up songs to get a quick tempo stuck in my head and reflecting back on my races from Conference the past two years. I swam lifetime bests at both of them, and thinking back on how excited and ecstatic I was at those moments gets me super pumped to race and reminds me why I’m still competing.

4) What has been your biggest accomplishment with swimming?

I think being a part of the 800 free relay team that broke the school record was definitely my biggest collegiate accomplishment so far, and hopefully I’ll be a part of more record-breaking events this year. Before college, my biggest accomplishment was repping Wisconsin at Zones for the mile in the pool and the two mile open water swim.

5) If you could have lunch with any famous swimmer, who would it be and why?

I would love to have lunch with Dara Torres; she is one of the nicest people ever! She held up her race in the Beijing Olympics because one of her competitor’s suits had ripped and she hadn’t returned from changing yet. She’s such an amazing athlete too—she just missed out on making the London Olympics by less than 0.1 in her race. London would’ve been her sixth Olympic trip. She’s 45 and was racing against girls half her age and has a six year old daughter—that’s just insane.

 

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