By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tapering for state
Placeholder Image
MONROE - As the swimming season winds down, the Cheesemakers are speeding up in the pool. After months of heavy training, Monroe's swimmers have started tapering in hopes of producing multiple state-qualifying times at the WIAA Division 2 sectional in Baraboo Saturday.

"It feels good. It's really nice," senior Leanna Schwartzlow said. "It gets your mind set and you're not so tense. (With) tapering, you can just relax and it makes you feel a lot faster than you normally are."

Though the swimmers have produced multiple personal-record times this season, Monroe head coach Linda Moser believes her team is ready to break that barrier.

"The primary focus right now is to perfect our technique. If we swim fast (in practice) we tend to forget the technique," Moser said. "So now is the time to come back and refocus on technique and slow it down - retrain those muscles to do the right things."

Moser added that by tapering, it allows the girls' bodies to get a break from the strenuous work they have gone through.

"Of course you're also dropping mileage (with tapering), letting your muscles get rid of the toxins so that you can swim faster," Moser said. "There's no science to (when to start tapering). It's just a guessing game. Sometimes we hit it right on, sometimes we don't."

The Cheesemakers will enter the pool in Baraboo with 13 other teams.

"It's one of those mixed meets. The air is full of excitement and you are ecstatic," said Moser. "At the same time, you're ready to cry because I'm going to be watching some of these seniors swim for the last time. And they know they are swimming for the last time. But because of all the people there, the excitement kind of takes over that feeling."

Monroe has been short on numbers all year, which means very little depth to compete with in dual meets, which typically resulted in a loss.

"I think a smaller team is an advantage when it comes to the girls bonding and feeling like they belong to each other. They encourage each other," Moser said. "One year we had 33 girls. I loved the numbers because we could do anything, but it was a difficult team to bond because there was just way to many of them. This size of a team, though it may be a detriment during the regular season, the chemistry and fun that they have and the memories far outweigh any of that."

Sophomore Rachel Root said racing with the outgoing seniors, like Schwartzlow, will motivate her even more.

"I'll just swim my heart out," Root said. "I'll try my best to do the best for our team so that we can make it memorable."

A year ago, Schwartzlow and Root each participated in three events at the state meet, one relay together and two individual races. Schwartzlow and Root teamed with 2010 graduates Randi Robertson and Jessica Weeden in the 200-yard Medley relay, taking 14th place. Weeden also swam in two events.

Schwartzlow, then a junior, finished 13th in the 200 individual medley, .47 seconds ahead of Root and 13 seconds behind the state champion. Root, then a freshman, was 10th in the 100 backstroke (1:00.79) and Schwartzlow was 15th in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.56).

"I just want to try my best and not let my team down," Schwartzlow said. "It will be nerve-racking. But it would be really exciting to make it two years in a row. It would mean a lot. I would be so happy to make it my senior year and finish off a great season."

Schwartzlow added that she's trying not to dwell on the finality of Saturday's meet.

"It's entered my mind. I've been wondering and thinking that if this is my last swim, how will it go? I'm just hoping for the best time that I've gotten in all of my seasons," Schwartzlow said.

According to Root, once the horn blows, it's all about fundamentals.

"I need to have good starts and turns and finishes so I can take off time and get (to state)," Root said. "I want to improve my times and get a PR."

Moser anticipates two individuals and possibly a relay team qualifying for state this year.

"I'm hoping we have a relay. The girls know they have a lot of work ahead of them to qualify a relay. The times this year are unbelievably fast again this year," Moser said. "They have it in them, they just have to dig deep inside and find it. And it has to happen for all four girls at the same time.

"When they see how well they are doing or how well other people are doing, it gets them hyped up. I know Nichole Lattin said to me, 'I should be swimming breaststroke because that gets me fired for the 400,' and she's right. For the most part, I think they swim their best when they are fired up and warmed up from watching everyone else. It really makes a huge difference."