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Swim Captain has High Hopes for New Team

Lauren Wheeler expresses excitement for a larger swim team in the 2015-2016 school year

Emily Atkins, Staff Writer

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In Texas, the mention of swimming usually conjures up images of lazy relaxation in a pool, enjoying the cool water and the clean smell of chlorine, with a cool glass of lemonade waiting by the side. Not so for Lauren Wheeler, Austin College senior and captain of the Women’s Swimming and Diving team at AC. Despite summer winding down and autumn starting to show up on campus, she and the rest of the swim team still jump in the pool every morning.

“This is our third week of official practices,” Wheeler said. “We’ve been having swim practice every day with dry land beforehand and then swimming.”

The aquatic ‘Roos are in the pool to get ready for the 2015-2016 swim season. With their first swim meet of the year coming up at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas on October 16th, they have been practicing hard, especially the new swimmers.

“This year we actually have five new swimmers and a diver on the girls side,” Wheeler said of the team this year. “We’re bigger than we used to be and that’s pretty exciting.”

The Hannah Natatorium has been busy with the swimming and diving team as the team gets in shape and preparing for the season. As of last week, the team has begun weight training twice a week.

“It is really great because it helps those of us who’ve been here to get stronger as well as the newcomers, who have never experienced weight training and all that stuff to get a lot stronger.”

As a new swim captain, Wheeler has her work cut out for her with keeping the girls motivated and urging them on. Her goals for the team this year are to encourage each swimmer to break their own personal records as well to break some school records.

“You have the freshmen that look up to you for guidance and most of our team this year is freshmen and sophomores,” Wheeler said. “The guys broke a lot of school records in the relays last year and the girls were really close so we want to get some of those this year.”

While the members of the swim team have a wide range of different levels of experience, Wheeler is confident that even those who have just started or haven’t been swimming for some time can do great as the meets and relays start.

“It doesn’t matter if you just started swimming or if you’ve been swimming like me for 12 years,” Wheeler said. “Just trying to make sure everyone is having a good time and working really hard and just having a great year.”

Wheeler is no stranger to these swim meets. She won gold at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in the 100-yard backstroke and was the first ‘Roo in the program to ever win gold. She has been breaking school and personal records since her freshman year and is eager to continue doing so.

“My personal goals are going to nationals and defending my championship,” Wheeler said. “Trying to make sure everyone gets to know each other and that we become pretty close because that’s what I valued about our team the past few years, it been pretty nice to feel like a family. It’s my last college season so it’s just kind of bittersweet but it’s going to be awesome. I’m really excited how every one is looking right now and we’re so early in the season. I think this year is going to be the best year yet.”

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Swim Captain has High Hopes for New Team