By Emma Wenning, Lola Coulter, and Maddy Yorke
Kate Taylor, a freshman on Newton South’s Swim and Dive team, has shown her speed and skill in the water this past season. Qualifying for sectionals in four events, as well as qualifying for states in one event, Taylor has proved her skills in her freshman season.
This week, Denebola got a chance to sit down with Kate Taylor and discuss her season and journey to sectionals.
When did you start swimming?
“I started swimming for the Newton rec team when I was eight years old, and competitively when I was nine.”
Why did you begin swimming?
“I just wanted to be in the water. I just had so much fun. Every time I went under water I felt like I was in a new world, so I thought it would be fun to do it everyday!”
What events do you swim and which is your favorite?
“I swim the 500 yard, 100 yard, and 50 yard freestyle and the 200 IM, and I am going to sectionals for all of the above. [All the events] bring their own challenges. But if I had to choose, I would say my favorite is the 500 yard because every time I push off the wall it’s like a new canvas, it’s like new shot for me to improve.”
Do you have any pre-meet rituals?
“I like to roll my muscles out, and make sure I go to bed early the night before. I make sure to eat eggs and keep my head clear.”
How do you train?
“Right now, I swim about 5,000 yards Monday through Friday with the South team. I also swim for Shawmut Aquatic Club, I swim six to seven times a week, doing about 6,000-7,000 yards. So I’m really in the pool everyday. On my own time, I try to work in runs and other cardio.”
Do you swim competitively for a team other than South, and if so, how does it compare to
Newton South swim?
“I swim for Shawmut Aquatic Club. Shawmut is a year round team, with a couple weeks off over the summer. On the other hand South has a two and a half month season. For Shawmut there is simply more time to improve. However, with South you have to find a perfect balance of technique work, endurance training, sprints, etc, in the short window we have. Coach Phil’s practices represent this well.”
With the season coming to an end, can you reflect a little bit on what your first high school swim team was like and some highlights for you during the season?
“In the beginning I didn’t know if I would swim for South. This would be my third year on Shawmut and missing two and half months of training scared me. In the end joining [Newton South] was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. During South swim I met so many new friends, and overall loved the team and the atmosphere that Coach Phil created. There are so many highlights, I qualified for sectionals in four events, and states in one. One of the biggest highlights was how this experience has affected my swimming. This team has made me so much more confident in my abilities and has left me an overall calmer swimmer.”
Do you have (or hope for) any future plans with swim?
“Going into sectionals I hope to qualify for the 500 and 100 at States and hope to carry what I’ve learned back to Shawmut.”