Meet the Athlete: Ben St. Clair


Megan Hoenie

Junior Ben St. Clair practices freestyle during practice Feb. 19. St. Clair first began swimming several years ago after a series of injuries in other sports.

Gabriel Kaplan

How long have you been swimming for Park?

For the high school team, this will be my fourth year. I’ve been swimming for around six or seven years in total.

Have you played any other sports?

I haven’t played any other sports for high school, but when I was younger, I played hockey and soccer.

What led you to choose swimming over other sports?

I got head injuries with the other sports, so I decided to try something new and swimming just happened to work for me.

What’s your favorite thing about the sport?

I like all the friends I’ve made. There’s a lot of nice, fun people that swim, especially on the high school team. Also, it’s a really good workout so it helps me stay in shape.

How do you think this past swim season went?

We went undefeated in our dual meets, which was really exciting, and we won our conference for the first time in a while. So that was really fun. Going into Sections, our team is looking really good so it should be a good season overall.

Did you meet your goals for the season?

So far, practices have been going well. I feel like I’m on track to do what I wanted to do in the 100 free and the 50 free, but so far, I think I’m set up pretty good for varsity Sections.

How do you prepare before meets?

Before meets, I like to stretch out (and) focus on my races, visualize how I’m going to try to swim each race. Before Varsity Sections, our team tapers, which means the yardage goes down at each practice but the intensity goes up. So more sprinting and stuff, which really helps you do better at the meets.

What are some of your favorite swim memories?

Just the jokes that people make during hard sets. That’s probably my favorite part, like, smiling through the pain, I guess.

What is the hardest thing about the sport?

The practices. Day after day of hard practices can really get to you. But the team really makes it worth it I’d say.