The hard work the Pacific Swim teams put in, both in and out of the water, paid off during the Northwest Conference Championships, where the men’s team placed sixth and the women’s team placed fourth, their highest placing to date.
“Everyone was going really fast,” said senior and men’s team captain Michael Hargitt. “It made it exciting to watch.”
In order to be able to perform this well, the swimmers did a variety of training all season.
The team has been competing since October and practicing since mid September.
Hargitt said along with daily double practices, the teams did out-of-the-water strength training to be even stronger in the water.
One of the factors behind the team’s success at conference was their effective employment of “tapering.” This is where athletes will switch from distance training to strength training at the end of their season so that the athletes peak during conference, giving their best performance.
Taper entails that swimmers restrict their diets and physical activity for up to a month before the conference meet. Although all of the swim teams in the conference taper, head coach Alec Webster is known for perfecting his swimmer’s taper particularly well.
During the conference there is a lot of stress put on the swimmers and, according to Hargitt, the men’s and the women’s team “handled the stress pretty well.”
The team left for federal way Feb. 13 and began swimming twice a day until Sunday night. The swimmers would swim their individual events in the morning and, if they qualified, they would come back that night to swim again in finals. Relays were also swam in finals.
Feb. 15 marked a record breaking day for the team, when eleven swimmers were sent back for individual finals, a new record for the team according to Webster.
On the women’s team, junior Katie Porter earned all-NWC honors with her first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, and second place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. Senior Kristine Valdez, set a new school record in the women’s 200-yard backstroke.
Junior Amanda Clark also made her mark by winning the 1,650 women’s freestyle. Senior Alex Bing pulled in a second place victory for the Boxers in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke.
The women had a very strong team this season and improved their strength as individuals and as a team throughout the year.
The men’s swim team placed sixth overall and brought home an individual title and a broken record. Hargitt managed to bring home the individual title and a gold medal in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke. Freshman Charles Morse broke a ten-year-old boxer record in the 1,650–yard freestyle.
Along with placing high in the meet, several of the Boxer swimmers obtained national qualifying B-cuts in their races, including Bing, Porter, Clark, and Hargitt.
Hargitt said in the future the team will focus on “becoming stronger during season [so that it] will pay off in the end at the big meets.”
In season dual meets, the women’s team finished fourth, with a season record of 4-3.
The men finished sixth with a season record of 2-5.
The team has become a unit over this season and Hargitt said he is hopeful that incoming swimmers next season will add to the strength the team has built.
“As a team our biggest strength is how close we are,” said Hargitt. “It builds a strong support system for all of us.”