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by Ben Wengerd
The GHS boys and girls swim and dive teams are coming down the home stretch of their season, and will be starting to look forward to the NLC Finals and the Sectionals. The swim team has been perfecting their technique the entire season, which now comes to a head.
Swimming may very well be the most taxing sport that’s out there; the combination of cardio and physical strength needed to be successful is unmatched. You can expect the workouts to be strenuous to push each swimmer to their limit to help them improve.
“The workout varies from day to day,” said senior swimmer Dylan Steury. “We’ll swim a lot of laps, we work on our legs because they have to be strong to kick. Really it depends on the day, some days are sprint days and other days are distance days, those are definitely not my favorite, but it helps us build our muscles and be more efficient.”
While the long-term preparation is done as a team, how an individual prepares themselves for a race varies from athlete to athlete, as is the case in all sports.
“I have a pre-meet routine,” said Steury. “I’ve been swimming for a very long time, so I’ve developed this routine. I’ll listen to music before and then right before the race I’ll stand behind the blocks and go through a slap routine, I slap all my muscles to get them warmed up, and I’ll do a boxer hop. It helps build my confidence for a race, and it might even intimidate the swimmers next to me. Then I take some deep breaths and it’s time to go.”
While Steury has excelled as an individual swimmer, perhaps his best event is the relay. Steury swims in relays with his teammates Nick Zehr (10), Gabe Goertz (12) and Mason Schrock (12). While no relay could be successful without strong swimmers, chemistry and work ethic are also big factors.
“We’ve been swimming with each other forever,” said Steury. “I’ve been swimming with them for eight or nine years. They all want to work hard too, they want to make it to state. We push each other at practice and that’s what helps us succeed. They’re just a great group of guys.”
Whether it’s chemistry or just all four swimmers being strong, the relay has been very successful this season. Not only are the expectations from their peers high, but their expectations for themselves are high as well.
“I want to get first in individual at sectional,” said Steury. “If you get first in sectionals, you automatically qualify for state. It’s been a goal of mine since freshman year to make it to state in individual, but also I want to make it down in some relays. Last year we got second in the 400m freestyle relay, it’s only one place and we’ve been consistent this year and we’ve made improvements. It would be the first time Goshen’s been down to state in a really long time, and as a senior it would be really meaningful.”
The girls began their postseason with NLC Prelims on Saturday, January 17th, while the boys hold their NLC Prelims on Thursday, January 30th. Sectionals begin February 6th for the girls and February 20th for the boys.