Seneca Swim and Dive gear up for WPIAL competition

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Katie Clark, Staff Writer

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The Seneca Valley Swimming and Diving team is gearing up for the WPIAL Swimming and Diving competition.

Diving WPIALs take place on Saturday, February 25 for AAA schools.  Seneca Valley divers competing at WPIALs are Alex Laslavic, Katelyn Caccamo, Dylan Boyd, Meghan Keppler, Peyton Moore, and Maddie Montalbano.

To prepare for their competition, the divers are continuing their rigorous practice scheduling.  Practices are every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting at a grueling 5:30 before the start of school.  The divers have an additional practice on Saturdays from 11:00 to 1:00 in the afternoon.

Sophomore diver, Katelyn Caccamo, described the focus of the teams most recent practices on their 11-dive list.

“We have been working on the small details in our dives to save us points,” Caccamo said about her training, “My coaches have been telling me to stay calm and to get lots of rest before WPIALS.  They’re always giving me corrections on my dives.”

Caccamo will also be attending WPIALs for swimming the following week in the 200 freestyle-relay.  Her game-plan for WPIALs is to stay focused and calm in order to perform at the best of her ability for the duration of her competitions.

The WPIAL Championship for Swimming is a two-day event, starting early in the morning on Thursday, March 2, and ending on Friday, March 3.

There are 18 swimmers attending WPIALs for individual events, and two other swimmers attending the meet in relays.

Swimmers competing in the meet are in the taper part of their season, where practices focus on technical skills and sprinting rather than long, endurance sets.  The rest in taper prepares and relaxes the muscles for racing, as well as allows swimmers time to make finishing touches on their strokes.

In addition to taper practices, SV swimmers are getting their bodies adjusted to swimming in the morning by completing practices before school.  The practices are high-intensity sprint workouts that will get the team used to exerting themselves at an earlier time than their normally scheduled practice.

Jonny Simoes, a backstroker for the SV swim team, is currently focusing on “little things” that will perfect his racing skills.

The swim team is not only focusing on physical preparation for the meet, but also on mental preparation.  The team is beginning to work on visualization strategies to prepare their minds for competition.

“The best advice that I received was to mentally prepare myself before every race, not just the day of [the race], but the days leading up to it,” Simoes said about his mental preparation.

Results for the WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championships will be available on www.wpial.org after the conclusion of the competitions.

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