Swimmers Train with Parkway Swim Club
At 4:15 a.m., while most students are still sound asleep, Abby Bomball, junior, is getting ready to head to Parkway North to begin her day by swimming laps in the pool.
Like many other MHS swimmers, Bomball participates in club swim as well as high school swim. Bomball has been swimming for Parkway Swim Club for six years.
During the high school swim season, Bomball goes to club practice in the morning and high school practice in the afternoon. After practice, Bomball tries to get her homework done immediately so she doesn’t procrastinate or waste any time.
“It’s stressful when you have a lot to do and you don’t have that much time because then you have to stay up late and get up early the next morning,” Bomball said.
Because the two programs sometimes overlap with each other, Bomball said it’s necessary to find a balance in her schedule. Bomball said spending time between the two program benefits her in the end.
“I think club swimming helps to prepare me well for high school swimming, so I perform better at high school meets as well,” Bomball said.
Bomball said swimming gives her the opportunity to both train intense to improve, as well as spend time with her teammates and have fun.
“It’s a lot of fun and you get to meet a lot of people,” Bomball said. “My closest friends are probably from swimming.”
Joe Schoedel, swim coach, said many of the girls participate in club swimming in addition to MHS swimming, whether it be for Rockwood Swim Club or Parkway Swim Club.
“Both clubs are pretty much the same thing,” Schoedel said. “They’re different clubs, but they are equally as intensive – you’re looking at six or seven days a week and at least two hour practices.”
Schoedel said some swimmers change back and forth between the two clubs, which can help benefit the athletes because change keeps them motivated and ultimately may help them get faster.
Two weeks into the girl’s season, Schoedel said there will be a high level club meet that takes place. Schoedel said the beginning of the season will be a tough balancing act until they get through the meet.
“I do work hand-in-hand with the Parkway coach and he’ll send me his practices because they’re tapering, which is basically going easier and easier to lead into a club meet,” Schoedel said. “I’m trying to match that with beginning a season – tryouts and hitting it really hard for the girls that are not in club.”
After the initial meet, Schoedel said club swimmers then primarily focused on the high school team for training purposes.
“People that train year-round may potentially suffer from fatigue and potential overuse or injuries,” Schoedel said. “However, the ones who do swim year round often tend to be the most solid all around swimmer so it takes a lot of dedication to do something like that as well as a lot of passion for the sport.”
Schoedel said the high school swimming program continuously changes the type of training the swimmers receive, which the girls physically respond well to since the off-season may often consist of repetitive training that exhaust the athletes.
“High school and club swimming complement each other,” Schodel said. “From having that change, we hopefully send them back to club faster than before.”
Hailey Benting, sophomore, began swimming for Parkway Swim Club in third grade. This will be her eighth year in the program.
Benting began her swimming journey for her neighborhoods summer league team, where she was recommended to try out club swimming. Benting tried out for Rockwood and Parkway for club swimming, but chose Parkway because it worked better for her schedule when she was little so she stuck with it.
Benting said Parkway Swim Club’s schedule typically last for two and a half hours on Saturdays, Tuesday and Thursdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they meet for two hours.
During high school season, Benting chooses not to go to club practices in order to have more time to focus on her studies. Balancing practice with her academics, Benting typically begins her homework around 7 p.m., after practice ends. Benting said she studies for tests in the morning on the way to school so she can go to bed earlier.
Although Benting enjoys team spots, she likes the independence swimming brings her.
“I don’t like it when people don’t work hard,” Benting said. “So if you’re just depending on yourself, if you try your best, you’ll do your best.”
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Kailin Zhang, junior, is the Associate Editor for the Messenger. She is the co-president of FBLA and runs track. She enjoys shopping and traveling.