Varsity swimmers prepare for upcoming sections

Team aims to improve times and scores

Isaac Wert

With sections Nov. 9 and 11, varsity swimmers are preparing for the upcoming competition through a “peak week” and a taper, according to Head coach Joe Yaeger.

Senior captain Katie Orton said peak week is six days of all-out practices.

“We do high-intensity little rest high-yardage workouts,” Orton said. “It’s a really exhausting and hard week.”

Sophomore Claudia Stone said practices during peak week are really difficult, both in the pool and during drylands.

“Everything is just more extreme. The intervals get faster and we (swim) more yards,” Stone said.

Freshman Hattie Kugler practices after school for girls' swimming sections. The team practices every day after school.

Malaika Bigirindavyi
Freshman Hattie Kugler practices after school for girls’ swimming sections. The team practices every day after school.

After peak week, Yaeger said the team begins its eight-day taper, which aims to improve the swimmers’ overall speed and stamina.

“The first day of taper, we might start around 6,500 yards, and the last day of taper, we might be only 2,500 yards. Their speed should increase, and their stamina should increase,” Yaeger said.

Orton said the eight-day taper is the complete opposite of peak week.

“It’s a lot of rests, a lot of sprints and less yardage. This helps us prepare for sections by tricking our bodies into relaxing so we can get goal times during our races,” Orton said.

According to Yaeger, the swimmers not only practice differently before sections, but also make changes to their athletic activities out of the pool.

“We ask all of the girls to cut down on all other exercises and physical activity outside of swimming,” Yaeger said.

Yaeger said this is to prevent swimmers from feeling fatigued during practices and to prevent injuries before the competition.

Orton said that despite challenging practices, it’s exciting to see the team’s hard work pay off.

“We have a lot of dedication and motivation, and you can always see that when we race,” Orton said.

Stone said the team focused specifically on breath control and sprints in their practices.

“We’ve been working super hard, and everyone should come watch us at sections,” Stone said.

The first day of sections is at a to-be-determined time Nov. 9 and Nov. 11 at St. Kate’s University, according to gopark.org.