The SPFHS swim team dives into a new season

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Emily Park swims across the pool eager to beat her previous time as her teammates cheer her on from the side. Park’s favorite part about swimming is the friendships that she has made.

Keira Baerson, Staff Writer

With any exciting and awaited moment, you get an adrenaline rush, a feeling that sophomore Rebecca Sohmer has become well-acquainted with. The cold water no longer impacts her – it is Sohmer’s nerves that scream with fear and exhilaration at the beginning of each meet. 

 

Last year, the SPFHS swim team was robbed of a full season due to COVID-19, similar to many other sports. Participating in virtual meets became a norm, but these events lacked the normal experience everyone hoped for. 

 

Before the season even started this year, swimmers participated in a pre-tryout practice. 

 

“[At the pre-tryout practice], everyone can see what practicing for the swim team looks like and if it’s the right team to join,” Sohmer told The Fanscotian

 

However, there are many returning swimmers each season, who already understand the procedures and what the season entails. 

 

In order to make the team, athletes must complete a 50 free in under 32 seconds. They are given a bit of time to rest during tryouts, but then back to work. Freshman swim one additional legal stroke, while returning athletes swim two. 

 

Jessica Hulnik is the head coach of boys and girls swimming. She has a significant impact on the swimming community at SPFHS. Her hard work and dedication shines brightly through the successes of the swim team. 

You don’t have to be the fastest swimmer; as long as [Coach] Jess sees that you’re trying your best and that you want to become a better swimmer, you’re going to succeed on the team.”

— Emily Park

“Her workouts are a lot different than what I was used to swimming at my year round club,” sophomore Emily Park said. “I’ve definitely gotten better… thanks to her.” 

 

Hulnik’s positive attitude has created a safe environment where swimmers are encouraged to improve their skills and techniques. She always has sets prepared for each practice and a lineup ready to go at the meets. 

 

“[The coaches] just want you to be the best swimmer you can possibly be,” Sohmer said. 

 

Participating on the swim team requires passion and enthusiasm. Swimmers must work to improve throughout the season, otherwise they won’t get anything out of it. 

 

“You don’t have to be the fastest swimmer; as long as [Coach] Jess sees that you’re trying your best and that you want to become a better swimmer, you’re going to succeed on the team,” Park said. 

 

Park also expressed that swimming is both a physical and mental sport. It puts strain on your muscles, which ultimately helps one to swim faster in the water. The team often participates in dryland in order to strengthen their bodies. Mentally, swimmers must have a positive mindset to resist intimidation provoked by a difficult stroke or situation.  

 

This season, our SPFHS swimmers are ready to dive into the water. 

 

“I am definitely looking forward to the swim meets,” Sohmer said. “It’s the most exciting part because you’re putting all your hard work into a race [and you] hopefully win or beat your time.”