Making a splash on swim team


Karen Jarrard, Gazebo Staff Writer

You hear the three whistles and get ready to start.

The final whistle blows to get on the diving block. “Take your mark,” the announcer will say. Then the horn, and you’re in the water.

As I swim, my strokes grow slower, but I keep going until the final glide is complete.

When I first became a part of the Stratford swim team last month, I joined for the wonderful exercise it offers. From having “leg day” to just swimming yards upon yards it was a great way to burn calories. After hearing this, my friends and I decided to try it out.

At our first practice, we were constantly cracking jokes and having a great time, and then the work started. From learning the breast and backstroke to learning a simple flip turn to rotate directions, the first week was a large struggle to all of the first time Wet Eagles, or affectingly known as the “Weagles.”

We quickly learned it is very possible to sweat in water.

A difficult skill most of us faced was regulating our breathing to coincide with our strokes. Coach Travis Morrison is constantly reminding us to “Pull, Pull, Pull, BREATHE.” Our days quickly got easier as we got the hang of many of the strokes.

My friends make this experience so much better. When I am sore and ready to quit, I hear them yelling at me to keep pushing, and it motivates me to push through.

I feel my cheerleading side coming out in this time. Since we don’t have an assigned cheer team we have learned to motivate each other as best we can.

It is a team of 28 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The grades don’t separate us because we are all “Wet Eagles.” Everyone is accepted.

As a child, I took swimming lessons from the legendary Julie Bragg. But I have never been a competitive swimmer until this year.

While I have only been a part of the team for a short period of time, it feels like I have been there forever. We are all advancing quickly. Hopefully in the upcoming season we will all reach our full potential. Our first meet is on Friday.

This team was supposed to be a way for me to get good exercise and socialize. Since the day I decided to join I have fallen in love with all that comes from this sport. From the close bonds I have made with all of my teammates, to the fun I have competing for Stratford, this decision was the best one I have ever made.

Karen Jarrard is a sophomore in her second year on the Gazebo staff.