Swim team hopeful despite losses at meet

Photo by Lexie Boren

By Casey Pickard

The Lewis & Clark swim team’s first meet of the season was Nov. 3 against the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in the Zehntbauer Swimming Pavilion. Unfortunately, the Pios finished the meet without any wins. However, the difference between their scores and Puget Sound’s scores are becoming smaller and smaller; the men’s team lost 112-93, while the women’s team lost 119-86.

Claire Megna ’19 thought that despite their losing score, the swim team did well.

“Everyone on the swim team does really hard work,” Megna said. “We’re all very committed student athletes and I think it says a lot about our characters and the fact that we can balance school and swimming so well.”

Megna also explained that the first year recruits have added a lot of new energy to the team and she enjoys watching them get accustomed to college swimming. In fact, first year swimmers like Andrew Butcher ’21 and Sabrina Murray ’21 won their events, Butcher in his 50 and 100 freestyle and Murray in her 200 freestyle.

Alex Raphael ’18 said that it was an exciting start to the swim season.

“The Friday meet was a great opener meet,” Raphael said. “It was a lot of fun watching our new teammates race in college for the first time and the energy was incredible.”

In addition to Butcher and Murray’s wins, seasoned college swimmers like Kassi Kometani ’19, August Bergh ’19, and Sam Duran ’20 were victorious in  their individual events. Kometani won both her 50 and 500 freestyle, Bergh won his 500 freestyle and Duran won her 200 freestyle.

Coupled with swim practice six times a week, distance swimmers like Megna are swimming parametric sets every two weeks. In these sets, distance swimmers have to keep their heart rate at 170 beats per minute while they swim sets of 200 meters. Each week they increase their set by adding an additional 200 meters. This week they are up to seven and they will continue until they reach 12.

These sets are designed to get distance swimmers’ heart rates up for a longer period of time to simulate what it feels like when they go through a whole day of competitions.

“I feel like it does help us a lot,” Megna said. “It doesn’t always feel good but you see a difference as you’re going through it, you see your times getting faster and it’s a lot of fun when that happens.”

Raphael explains that her coaches focus on minor details during their swim practices, having their swimmers work hard to make small changes in their stroke techniques.

“Eventually, all those small pieces come together and your stroke improves,” Raphael said.

For the swim team, hard work is fostered by their tight community. Members of the team eat meals together, plan team study sessions and create their own events.

“We do things outside of school work like the Haunted Corn Maze on Sauvie Island and our annual freshman breakfast,” Raphael said. For the freshman breakfast, the first years of the team make breakfast for the older members, while the older members are in charge of bringing juice, cups and silverware.

Other events that the team enjoys include the women and men’s swim team hike at the beginning of the school year as well as a white elephant gift exchange in the winter, a talent show and movie screenings.

Raphael explained how the LC swim team had grown since her freshman year.

“The current senior class has set high standards,” Raphael said. “We always had a vision of what we wanted the team to become.”

Furthermore, she sees the drive that the current team has as they practice together in the pool and the weight room and claims that the swim team members are competitive with each other in a “healthy” way.

The next Pioneer swim meet will be held in Tacoma, Wash. against UPS on Dec. 1 at the Logger Invitational.

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