Rock North get­ting primed for dis­tricts

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By John Glee­son

Talk show host Oprah Win­frey once said, “Pas­sion is en­ergy. ceel the power that comes from fo­cus­ing on what ex­cites you.”

Now it’s tough to imag­ine Oprah churn­ing through a swim work­out at 5W45 on an icy win­ter morn­ing. Nor can the mind’s eye en­vi­sion her perched atop the start­ing blocks await­ing the be­gin­ning of a 5MM-me­ter freestyle event. vet, her words cer­tainly ring true for any­one brave enough to en­ter the highly com­pet­i­tive wa­ters of scholas­tic swim­ming.

Ni­co­lette hothe, se­nior freestyler for the Coun­cil Rock North girls swim team, cer­tainly epit­o­mizes Oprah’s sen­ti­ments. A com­pet­i­tive swim­mer since she was six, Ni­co­lette knows that, “cor me, swim­ming has turned into part of my life. If I didn’t do it, a part of me would be gone. I have to do it for my­self be­cause I’ve al­ways done it and I don’t know any­thing else.”

The de­vo­tion is not with­out cost. A swim­mer’s reg­i­men in­volves a bru­tal and drain­ing work­out sched­ule. Three morn­ings a week, the CR swim­mers plunge into the pool at 5W45 for an hour of dis­tance work, sup­ple­mented by dry land lift­ing and core ex­er­cise. Af­ter a full day of school, it’s back to the nata­to­rium for an­other hour-and-a-half prac­tice ses­sion aimed at honing tech­nique.

bven the most dis­ci­plined psy­che might be chal­lenged. Ni­co­lette bal­ances any such doubts with a love of her team­mates.

“It def­i­nitely catches up with you. There are times when you feel like you don’t want to do it any­more be­cause you’re so tired and so ex­hausted. But there’s a part of me that just loves be­ing in the water. That helps keep me go­ing.

“Also, I love spend­ing time with my team­mates. Through­out my ca­reer, I’ve been on a lot of teams where I felt like they are my fam­ily and the peo­ple I want to hang out with. That keeps me go­ing.”

This year’s CR North aquatic fam­ily is as tal­ented as it is united. The In­di­ans, cur­rently boast­ing an un­blem­ished T-M record, ap­pear ready to cap­ture their fifth con­sec­u­tive SOi Na- tional Con­fer­ence ti­tle as well as their fifth straight un­de­feated league dualmeet sea­son.

That is quite a legacy to live up to. “It’s great swim­ming for Coun­cil Rock. I don’t think there is ex­tra pres­sure but I do think there is ex­tra in­cen­tive be­cause we’ve done so well for so long and we want to keep it go­ing. That pushes peo­ple to work hard. vou want to do as well as the peo­ple be­fore you be­cause you don’t want to let them down.”

The In­di­ans’ push to­ward per­fec­tion started with an all-im­por­tant meet against rp­per aublin, last year’s aistrict One Class AAA cham­pi­onship. Ni­co­lette will long re­mem­ber North’s con­vinc­ing NNU-SU vic­tory.

“Our first meet against rp­per aublin was key. We beat them my fresh­man year and that year, we won dis­tricts. They beat us the next two years. We were really pumped go­ing in. We wanted to beat them so much and show them how deep and strong we were.”

The In­di­ans du­pli­cated the fine out­ing last Tues­day, gan. 22 when they de­feated their archri­val Penns­bury, NNS-TM. Ni­co­lette helped se­cure a win in the 2MM re­lay in both dra­matic meets.

“I like the re­lays be­cause I swim my best when I’m swim­ming for the team. There are three other peo­ple there want­ing me to do well and swim faster. I tend to do bet­ter then.”

Though aware that the dis­tricts are coming soon, the iady In­di­ans are still fo­cused on their four re­main­ing reg­u­lar sea­son dual meets. “We’re still tak­ing it one meet at a time. We’d like to do well at dis­tricts but un­til we get past our last meet, it is not the up­front thought.”

Re­gard­less of the out­come, Ni­col­lete knows the end of the sea­son will be tinged with sad­ness. “A part of me is go­ing to be gone. It’s sad. I had read one of the se­nior recs last year and I was just cry­ing. She was one of my best friends and she was leav­ing. But I was also cry­ing be­cause I re­al­ized I had only one more year left.”

Such pas­sion cer­tainly in­di­cates that Ni­co­lette is fo­cused on what ex­cites her with an en­ergy that proves con­ta­gious.

Olivia Peter­son shows good form in the back­stroke.

Olivia Al­born swims the 200 In­ter­me­di­ate Med­ley.

Lau­ren Mitchell wins the 500 freestyle event for Rock North.

Shirley Sam­son wins the 100 breast­stroke.

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