Rachel Wilt, a junior
swimmer, reflects on the year that has been for the Waves. She's looking
forward to Saturday's final home meet and the upcoming conference meet. She
also tell us about the seniors and how they have helped her class become the
leaders that will be needed for next year:
Q: Going into the final meets of the year, what are preparations like?
A: Right now, we are getting ready to finish the season and we are working really hard before we start our taper for conference. These past couple weeks have been really tough, but also really rewarding, so everyone is looking forward to starting our taper.
Q: You mention a taper. What exactly is that and why is there a need for it?
A: We work really hard all season, pushing ourselves as much as we can. For conference, we back off the training a little bit so we can have the best chance to race at our most peak performance in order to get the best time possible in our best event.
Q: Are the preparations for the last meets of the year any different than the preparations for meets earlier in the season?
A: Not really, to be honest. A lot of us do swim different events for the final meet before conference than we do for conference, but other than that, the preparations are very similar.
Q: As you reflect on the season, how would you gauge the success of the team this year?
A: We have a really strong team this year with a lot of depth, which is nice. One of the benefits of having such a big team is the depth of our squad and having good swimmers in every event. It is really exciting to think about what we can do during the conference meet.
Q: Obviously there have been ups and downs during the year. What do you think was your favorite event of the year so far?
A: Going to Morro Bay, when we swim against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is always really fun. We kind of make it of a vacation in a sense which is always nice.
Q: Which events do you plan on swimming in during the conference meet, and how will they differ from the meet before conference?
A: In the meet before conference, I plan on swimming the 50m free and 100m breaststroke, among some others that haven't really been decided yet. During conference, I will swim just the 50m free and the 100m free, so I am not too different in the events that I swim.
Q: Why do some girls swim different events in the meet before conference?
A: Some people like to not swim the same events right before we taper so they don't psych themselves out of the event. The girls want to give themselves the best chance to swim their fastest in their best event at conference.
Q: What are your expectations both personally and for the team for the conference meet?
A: I really hope that we beat LMU. I think that we are good enough, and we came so close last weekend, that I think in conference we will have the drive and the push to beat them. As for personally, I have some goals to drop time and do the best that I can to help the team.
Q: The conference meet coming up will be the last meet for your six seniors. What have those seniors meant to the team this year in terms of leadership?
A: They have been huge. The other juniors and I have been thinking a lot about how much they have done for us, and how much we will miss having them around next year when we are seniors.
Q: Do you think that the seniors of this year have helped prepare you for your senior season when you are the ones the younger swimmers will look up to for guidance?
A: Absolutely. They have done such a good job at guiding us and showing us what it means to be the leaders of this program.