CEC swimmers are UPbeatWhile the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton swimmers were out-swum and outnumbered 52.5-39.5 by a much larger squad from Proctor-Hermantown Tuesday, there were some basic truths about the upcoming season on display.
By: Brady Slater, Pine Journal
There are a lot of things about the swim team experience that reflect a different side of sport. Tuesday against Proctor-Hermantown, swimmers mingled with parents, getting stroke tips. Where parental support in other sports might be a signed contract to not get too involved, in swimming this sort of thing is OK. Really. You don’t have to go telling the Minnesota State High School League about it.
Because while the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton swimmers were out-swum and outnumbered 52.5-39.5 by a much larger squad from Proctor-Hermantown Tuesday, there were some basic truths about the upcoming season on display. These will be prevailingly positive observations, too, because unlike, say, football, in which a loss is treated like a plate of bad potatoes, in swimming everyone is a winner. It’s something about the lane markers that separates the racers and keeps the individual’s spirit buoyantly UP no matter what.
One of the laminated signs that dotted the Proctor pool walls read, “When the earth is flooding from global warming, swimmers will rule the world.”
Not one swimmer, you’ll note. Not Michael Phelps. Rather, all swimmers. They all feel like world-beaters. When they’re not racing, they’re festive and chanting and cheering madly like monkeys in trees, hovering over every race. They feel like world-beaters especially when they race and beat their personal best times, or when they post a sectional qualifier like CEC sophomore Aleesha Slattengren did in winning the 100-yard butterfly from the more difficult outside lane in 1 minute, 19.93 seconds. It’s just the way it is, swimmers feeling good for the simple ability to swim, like learning and becoming fluent in a new body language. Again, just because all swimmers — no matter their size (the tiny Slattengren) or shape feel good about themselves — you don’t have to tell the MSHSL about this.
But just because they do, doesn’t also mean they don’t know they’ve got things to improve upon. The CEC swimmers showed great moxie in pulling the meet to 29.5 to 28.5 midway through — one-two-ing in the 100 fly and 500 free, led by Lexus Wysocki’s easy 6-minute swim. But they cost themselves in races, too, by diving too deep on starts, plowing at times versus swimming “on-top” of the water, rolling over their flip turns rather than snapping them like the tip of a whip.
“This meet points out we’ve got some improvements to make,” said Coach Stacia Grayson. “But it’s something we can build on, too. We’ve improved so much over the last year.”
Two-a-days, including morning swims led by elected captains Wysocki, junior Emily Matlack and the team’s sole senior Chloe Klingaman, have fused an ethic Grayson has tried to instill in her four years as the coach.
“They’re all different,” Grayson said of her captains. “Emily’s our rock. Lexus is our speed demon. Chloe is always directing things.”
Again. It’s swimming. Don’t tell the MSHSL, but that direction is UP.
FYI: CEC swim fans can visit http://cecswimming.blogspot.com for all the updated season best times and more.