State competition builds pressure for Girls Swimming


Sophomore Hana Weber swims backstroke in preparation for the competition

Eli Hartmann-Stein, Sports Editor

Hosting state on Nov. 18 and 19 creates extra excitement and motivation for members of Girls Swimming, but the familiar environment also invites additional distractions.

“There would definitely be more pressure competing for state at home,” sophomore Hana Weber said.

However, before the team can worry about the state competition, they have to compete well in sectionals on Nov. 11.

“The team will go to sectionals, but we have an opportunity to improve our ranking by performing well leading up to sectionals and state,” Weber said.

Coach Kevin Auger is already beginning to prepare for sectionals and beyond.

“We do our hard training in the beginning, then we tapir,” Auger said. “We do much less yardage, but at greater speed.” This helps prepare the swimmers for racing speeds.

Auger is also cognizant of the benefits and distractions hosting state, noting that while his swimmers will be more comfortable in their own pool, friends, teachers and parents will all want to talk to the swimmers, providing a distraction.

“It’s difficult for our coach because since we are hosting state, he has to pay attention to logistics and technical details rather than focusing entirely on us,” senior captain Kate Grossman added.

Grossman herself was excited. “It would be really fun, getting to compete at state in our home pool,” she said. “Competing at home, more people around Evanston will be aware of it.”

Junior Clio Hancock agreed with Grossman, saying that the swimmers have pride in their home and want to defend it. Hancock also points out that the team has more experience swimming in the pool, giving them“a ‘home-pool advantage.’”

Despite the team’s excitement, Grossman too was cautious of the distractions hosting state provides. “It’s good to have big goals for the end of the season, since we are competing at home,” she said. “But we can’t get ahead of ourselves, we have to focus on the last conference meet first before we can even think about sectionals, let alone state.”