Swim, regionals, then states oh my!

Ekene Osuchukwu , Staff Writer

By Ekene Osuchukwu

“You really get that overwhelming feeling, when you step up on the block before you race. Knowing that all your previous training was for this moment,” said junior Russell Hronek.

Hronke prepares for a meet by eating healthy the whole week and getting his mind in the mental state for a competition. The night before both regionals and states, he had lasagna, which is one of his favorite race foods. 

While Hronek loaded up on carbs the night before, his teammate junior Noah Spain enjoyed his time by “jamming out” to music on the bus ride up. Spain also participated in team-bonding games like “Paranoia” which he said added to his “fun and exciting state’s experience.”

Spain placed 4th overall in the 100 breast and accomplished a new lifetime best time. “At states it was really exciting being at the George Mason pool and getting to race people that I normally don’t see at my year round meets,” said Spain. “I’d say my general emotion was nervous but those nerves ended up helping me win.”

There are many members of PA Swim, like Spain, who competed in solo events, but when the team came together for the relay at regionals they were successful. Although they did not place exceptionally high at states, the boys’ swim team broke the record for the fastest 200 relay time and that’s what made them qualify for states.

Spain achieved two meet records at regionals. Meanwhile, Hronek and freshman Tyler Kaminski, Brett Sill, and Radomyr Couture placed high in the competition and received awards for their work in the 200 IM Relay.

“We started the swim season off super strong with practice about a month before our meets began,” said senior captain Connor Kemper, “and it was exciting to see our 200 IM relay make state cuts and break the regional record.”

Couture describes the concept of “taper” in swimming, which is the idea that as the season progresses practices get easier so that swimmers can “rest more for championship glory.”

The swim team began to rest their muscles more coming closer to regionals, so that they could work at their maximum performance level. However, “I didn’t back off too much because I was still focused on states,” said Couture.

Couture was motivated by his chances at states while Hronek was motivated by the fact that “in swimming, you can never really stop getting better. I can say I look forward to every time I get in the pool because I always have something to improve upon.” 

For swimmers like Hronek and Couture, regionals was another point of improvement. 

At regionals, the swimmers felt several emotions and found that “it was really great to feel the team support and also cheer on my teammates,” said Couture.

The energy at states was exciting, yet Couture still “underestimated how fast all the swimmers there would be.” He said that it felt good to swim at regionals, “especially with such a good team that I am proud to be a part of.”

“The biggest emotion I felt was excitement, the atmosphere my team provided was encouraging and electric” said Hronek.