2015 Girls Swimming Preview

By Rachel Hernandez-Velarde

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The NWN had the privilege to sit down with Niles West’s varsity girls swimming coach Jason Macejak. Into the third week of the season, Macejak commented on the future and goals for the team.

NWN: How’s the team looking for this upcoming season?

Macejak: We lost a lot of girls last year, so we took up some girls from JV last year and also got a new freshman on the varsity squad. We’re a little small right now, but we’re hoping that over the next few weeks some of the JV girls will step up and show that they’re ready for varsity practice. What’s great about this team every year, is that regardless of the amount of talent we have or don’t have, they’re always fun to be with and they’re always working hard. As a coach that’s the most important thing. We do have talent, some girls that can break some records this year. Some girls have eyes on a state cut to qualify for the state meet and take down some relay records this year. This team has the talent to do that.

 

NWN: What are the weaknesses you’re working on in practice?

Macejak: Right now we’re just in our third week, so we are getting in shape. Some of the girls swam over the summer, but even a week off takes a little bit to get back in shape. Some girls haven’t swam spring, some haven’t swam since the end of the season last year, so getting in shape right now is a top priority. We are getting ready to go with all of the speed exercises to get them faster. We’re getting in shape, and getting through the pain. It’s not their favorite, but they’ve got to get it over with. Right now we’re ripping off the band-aid.

 

NWN: Who are your key swimmers?

Macejak: Senior Lauren Patt, – she’s our top sprinter. Sophomore Mia Piljevic,–she’s pretty versatile in the events she can do, but if I could pick one, she’d definitely be doing the 100 meter back stroke. Sophomore Katelin Avenir–she’s a breaststroker, an IM-er, a flyer. Senior Annie Hester. As of now, Our top diver would be Natalie Palmer.

 

NWN: What are the goals for this season?

Macejak: It would be nice to get an all-conference athlete. We have two of the top three teams in the state in our conference, so it’d be great if we got an all-conference athlete. We would like to break two or three varsity records. We have a few sophomores and a freshman, that if we put them together they can break some Soph-Frosh records as well, which we need, because they’ll be here for at least two more years. Sectionals is at the end of the season, and if they qualify they go one more week to state. It would be nice for the girls to extend our season. At the end of the year, it’s always best scores for diving, and best times in the pool, regardless of what level you’re on, we want everyone to finish at their best.

 

NWN: How does this year’s team compare to last years?

Macejak: Last year was probably the most talented swim team in the history of the school, and it was great. A lot of that talent left, some of it’s still here, but a lot of that talent left. I’m not saying we’re in a rebuilding year, but we had more talent last year. However, the girls that are here are determined to be the best that they can be. The main thing the girls remember at the end of the season is that they performed the best they could and the way they wanted to.

Come out and support the girls at their next meet this Friday, September 4th.