This year the Middle School and High School CEESA swimming competition was held in Moscow. Since the start of November the ISP swim team has been training non-stop to prepare themselves for this tournament. These swimmers worked hard not only to win against others but win against themselves. Being a swimmer is not only about beating other people, it’s about continuously improving and performing to the best of your ability as soon as you take that dive into the pool. Swimming also takes a lot of dedication and that was evident in most of the team swimming a minimum of 4 hours a week. Throughout the season all swimmers repeatedly strived for greatness.
In the 2017 CEESA tournament, the High School boys took home second place with 89 points, while the girls placed third. The Middle School girls worked hard and achieved third and the boys, just short by a single point, placed fifth.
In order to find out what this season and tournament were really like, I interviewed two of this years CEESA swimmers: Karla Pejic (12) and Vivi Lanzarotti (9).
Question: How long have you been a competitive swimmer?
Karla: I have been a competitive swimmer since the age of 6 within my personal competitions. However, I have been actively competing with the ISP Falcons team since the beginning of 8th grade and I have swam with the school for about 5 to 6 years.
Vivi: 8 years.
Question: What was the training like? How many hours a week would you train? How difficult was it to manage training, school life, and personal life?
Karla: The trainings got more and more intense the closer the competition came. We had choices on how often we could train, I trained 3 times a week. The trainings for me, personally as a senior, were not difficult to balance with school life, since I completed most of my assignments earlier. However, sometimes the would be minor conflicts with personal plans outside of school and I tried to manage these as best I could.
Vivi: Training was a lot harder because I joined a new club this year. I trained 11 hours a week. It’s really hard to manage school and swimming since ISP doesn’t have a pool so having to commute to and from training would take a lot of time. Sometimes I had to skip swimming because of important things going on at school and projects due.
Question: Do you feel like all of the time it took up was worth it?
Karla: Definitively. Without the training I wouldn’t have gotten this far into my swimming “career”. I will admit, a lot of muscles were sore but after that you feel amazing for training hard and overcoming your goals, especially for me personally.
Vivi: Definitely. It’s hard but it’s really rewarding at the competition and at the end of the day, I love swimming so I don’t mind the time and work that it takes.
Question: Out of all the CEESA competitions you have participated in, on a difficulty scale where does this one rank?
Karla: Since I have been to multiple CEESA competitions, this is one of the most rewarding ones I’ve been to. This was my last CEESA and I wanted to make it memorable and had to push myself further to reach the goal I wanted to achieve. On a scale of 1 – 10, I would rank it at a solid 5 or 6. Not too difficult but still challenging.
Vivi: Definitely the hardest. I’m a freshman now and so I’m up against older and stronger swimmers. Also, the overall competition gets harder every year
Question: Other than difficulty, do you feel like there is a difference between swimming with the middle school and swimming with the high school?
Vivi: Having to deal with some of the scheduling changes, which meant that I couldn’t do some races that I had previously done in middle school. For example; in high school, 100m I.M is on the second day instead of the first.
Question: As a senior do you think that this was a good end to your CEESA career?
Karla: I think this was a wonderful last CEESA. The swim team is like a second family to me and I was very glad to have one more very special and amazing opportunity to bond with all of them before the pathway to that experience ended.
Question: What was your favorite and least favorite part of this year’s tournament?
Karla: My favorite part was getting to see my friends from other schools, all of us being in 12th grade at our last competition and having a chance to meet new people from all over. Having a chance to stay in contact with all of them no matter how far away we are. My least favorite part was the ending, attempting to give a speech just how thankful I have been for the entire swim team. A lot of memories have been made in the falcons swimming team and I don’t know what I would do if I hadn’t met this wonderful group of people.
Vivi: My favorite part was spending time with the team because we’re really close and the actual racing was really fun. My least favorite part was the constant noise from the pool which made it really hard to concentrate and calm down before races.
Question: Why do you swim?
Karla: I swim because of three reasons, as I like to call my triple F’s: family, freedom, and fitness. The swim team is my second family and I feel like I have so much freedom when I am in the water with them and having so much time around me, even though time flies when you’re having fun. I have been swimming, regardless of competitive or fun, since I was 4 years old (14 years). I do not regret any of those journeys I have taken and I am so happy to be this dedicated to something I love so much. Swimming allows me to have so many things at multiple times. Swimming isn’t just one thing to me, it means way more than a sport for trained and talented athletes.
Vivi: I swim primarily because I love being in the water. Always have and always will. But I also swim because it’s so rewarding to work hard at something and then get the results. Mainly it’s because swimming is my safe place and it’s actually really good for stress release. Also the team is really close so it’s fun to go to practice and see everyone.
This years team was truly dedicated and worked hard through this year’s 2017 CEESA competition. Congratulations to all of the competitors, good luck next year!
© Grace O’Mara – The Falcon Post, 2017