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Swim By Brooklyn Hilmes

Varsity swimmer Jackson Stapelton, 11, finishes swimming laps for warm-ups before the team's trail meet. Swimmers finishes time trails every year before actual meets to see where their coach needs to put them.

"Warming up before a race is important t prepare your body for the race you are about to do. It allows your muscles to prepare so thy aren't as in much shock whenever you begin a race. Warming down is also very critical. After a race you want to keep moving to allow the lactic acid to leave your muscles. Warming down allows you to lower your heart rate and prepare your body for the next race. I feel lie warming up and down is very important for successful races," Stapelton said.

Starting out before any meet or practice, all swimmers gather up and warm up as a team.

Legacy's swim team, varsity and JV, huddle up before starting their trials for a photo. Usually, before every event, they group together for a quick picture. "I enjoy the team as a whole along with the sport. I enjoy meeting and making new friends. I get to push myself to be better every day," Kime said.

Varsity swim member Alicia Bernal, 12, sets up on the block before swimming the freestyle. Freestyle is the first race swimmers will compete in. A lot of preparation mentally happens while being up on the block.

"When I'm up on the block, I think about what I need to do for this race. I have to make sure I'm ready to jump correctly and far enough to get a good lead in a race," Bernal said.

"Everyone needs a little bit of encouragement, especially while they are competing. I know that when someone cheering for me it motivates me. To keep pushing through the pain, to go faster. While competing we usually drown out the background sounds after that first buzzer, yet when we come out for the first breath of air. Hearing the faint screaming of our teammates at the top of their lungs getting louder as we get closer to the wall." On the side teammates will encourage their teammates. Jocelyn Rodriguez, 12, yells for teammates to push themselves to finish. "It's hard to describe it until you are in the moment. You feel like you have all the support in the world and that you can accomplish anything when you have your family there with you. That my team has my back and is cheering for me not knowing the results. I cheer for them because they are my second family to show them that no matter what their results are am proud that they gave it their all," Rodriguez said.

"My team has been one of the best parts about swimming throughout high school, and I'm so thankful to have such a great support system encouraging me to better," -Ashley Otero

While swimming freestyle Jackson Stapleton, 11, breaks out of the water for a breath. Swimming is one of the hardest sports for not being able to breathe when you want to.

"It takes a lot of motivation to push yourself to keep going during difficult swim styles. Practicing every day helps me get used to breathing whenever it's needed, not when I want to," Stapleton said.

The butterfly stroke comes after the freestyle ad before backstroke in swim meets and trials. During the trials, the coaches, Nicholas Johnson (swim) and coach Andrew Serie (diving), put their swimmers into races to see how well they do. If the swimmer has a good time on their race and correctly does the forms of the swim correctly, they will most probably put the student into that race during actual meets.

Varsity swimmer Taylor Ham, 11, swims the butterfly as her second race. The girls swim before guys during trails and meets. Swimmers don't get to pick what race or style of the swim during trails.
After butterfly and backstroke, Alicia Bernal, 12, swims breaststroke as her final race for trials in heat 6. The water is denser than air, so the water has much more resistance preventing swimmers to move quickly and freely through the water.

"Breaststroke is one of the hardest forms of swimming. I'm great at this stroke, but it's the most tiring and difficult. I usually don't swim this if it isn't trials, but the coach wants u to swim in everything to see what we should be put in with our times," Bernal said.

Myah Rupert, 10, swims breaststroke for her last race of the trials. With breaststroke being the last race, swimmers are tired. Breastroke is one of the hardest for having to bring most of your upper body out of the water. They must push themselves to be able to get through this last race.
Connor Whitfill, 11, is the first boy to swim the butterfly for the guys.

"The butterfly stroke is always been a secret passion of mine. It's a tough stroke, but I always like the challenge of it. I'm hoping to improve on this stroke and break the record time that is set on it," Whitfill said.

Ashley Otero, 12, is the first girl to swim breaststroke.

"Breastroke has always been my favorite stroke, and I think the form (technique) required is fascinating and keeps the sport fun," Otero said.

Yasmina Allen, 9, swims the breaststroke.

"When I was diving off the blocks, I was really nervous, but when I hit the water everything just clicked. I know that I have a lot to improve on in breaststroke, but that's what practice is for," Allen said.

After meets or after the swimmers' last race, swimmers will sit on the side hyping up teammates. But after meets are over the team will usually go out for a team dinner if they did well. Teams will sometimes go out after meets or during the week before meets. This was a very bonding moment for all the teammates. "After meets or eating out with the team, I'm ready to go home and relax for the rest of the day and sleep," Bernal said.

"After meets, I usually feel exhausted from everything, but along with that I also feel accomplished because whether or not I win my races, I will always know that I did my best. At the end of the day, that's the most important part about all of this, which is the fun of it all and that I did my best," Bernal said.