Swimmers stride toward competition in Indiana
Sophomore Kaitlyn Yee backstrokes at a home swim meet against La Habra on Wednesday. Yee is among three Sunny Hills students representing their swim club at an Indiana competition March 28-31. (Photo by Accolade photograph Kimberly Morales)

Two thousand miles to plunge into foreign waters.

Three Sunny Hills swimmers will travel during spring break to Indianapolis to compete in the Speedo sectionals hosted by Indiana Swimming March 28-31 through their swim club La Mirada Armada.

This competition is held under the sanction of USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming Inc, according to usaswimming.org.

Sophomores Katie Cho and Kaitlyn Yee and junior Nicole Maslog qualified for this competition during the period of Jan. 1, 2018, through the entry deadline in March for the spring meet. They each had to make a certain time standard for each of the events that they compete in, Cho said.

“We became a part of this competition because our [club] coach wanted us to race in the best possible conditions at Indiana University Natatorium, the facility in which the meet is being held,” said Cho, who will be competing in the 50 free, 100 free, 800 free, 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 individual medley events.

The swimmers are currently preparing for the competition by increasing their intensity and focus during practice at their club.

“We will prepare for it by starting the taper, which is the [practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition],” said Yee, who will begin doing less yardage in practice to rest her body and muscles from hard work.

The swimmers do not know what to expect because this meet is different from other competitions, as they have to compete against teams and swimmers who they normally do not swim against at meets in California, she said.

“I also feel like there’s more pressure to swim well,” Yee said.

Maslog, who will compete in 400 free, 800 free and 1000 free also feels pressured but is optimistic about the outcome.

“I’m more motivated to beat the person next to me because I’ve never seen them before,” Maslog said. “It’s just a lot more exciting because it gives me the opportunity to make new friends.”
La Mirada Armada coach Rick Shipherd feels that the young trio represent some of the best talent in the West.

“They will encounter some of the best talent in the East and Midwest, but [I] have a lot of faith in the three young stars,” Shipherd said. “Each of the young ladies is sure to fare well as they compete for spots on the podium in their specialty events.”

During the course of the competition, the swimmers will also be looking for times that qualify them for the Summer Junior Nationals, he said.

“Katie is an outstanding butterflier, sure to be near the top in the 200 butterfly,” he said. “Kaitlyn is equally skilled in the backstroke and will be tough to deny, and Nicole Maslog is a sure finalist in the distance freestyle events.”

This long-course championship is their first step toward the Olympic trials next year in Omaha. Shipherd is confident that the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis aquatic center will see some great swimming next week, especially from those who call Sunny Hills High School home.

“There are not three swimmers in the country who are as dedicated as the Sunny Hills girls,” Shipherd said. “I am sure they will see the results of that commitment next week.”

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