Women’s swim focuses on long-distance

Denny Cristales, Freelance

“Exhausting” is one way the women’s swim team would describe swimming 10 events in one day, but that’s exactly what it did on Friday, Feb. 20 at the Golden West Invitational.

The invitational had women swimmers qualify from preliminary competition toward the finals.

Both preliminary and final competitions were swam the same day, so as a result, those who swam and qualified in prelims, swam again for finals.

This led to the large number of events [10]. Typically, according to head coach Sergio Macias, seven events are held in total, and even then, it’s usually split into two days.

The grueling grind is necessary, the coach noted.

“It was great conditioning and experience. Our team, I’m sure [it] was exhausted,” he said. “This is the meet where we told them [the women] that this is going to be a part of training. We wanted to put [the women] in tougher events so they could get something out of it.”

The reasoning behind it was, like the men’s swim team, the women’s team also has a problem with fatigue.

Mt. San Antonio College and Pasadena City College are the two schools up next for competition this Friday, but endurance needs to be strengthened before then.

Long-distance swimming is a weakness, and although implemented during practice sessions, it still serves as a problem.

“We’re going to have to learn to adapt and make that transition,” Macias said.

Amanda Rabb, who specializes in breast stroke, qualified for finals during the invitational and had to do double duty in prelims and finals.

Her qualification allowed her to swim with the top 24 swimmers at the meet.

Despite her qualification, Rabb agrees with her coach about long distance, and cites practice as the obvious spot to get it together.

“It’s important to push yourself at practice,” she said. “Just because he [coach] gives us a slower amount of time for a set, it doesn’t mean we stay relaxed. You’ve got to sprint it like you’re at a meet. You train going fast constantly.”

Freestyle swimmer Elizabeth Alfaro noted that long distance is also a problem for her, as she normally swims short distances, like the 50-yard strokes.

She said, “I only focus on short-distance swimming; my endurance isn’t that great. We swim long-distance sets at practice, but at swim meets, I just focus on short distance.”