Lady Water Warrior Delaney Smith Makes A Splash
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As the men’s swim and dive team is officially underway it is important to recap the lady water warriors who drew a close to their season at the state meet, finishing third, one of the highest finishes in recent history. Last years 200 I.M. state champion, Delaney Smith, sits down with me to discuss the season.
H: Can you give me a swimmer’s perspective of how your swim season went?
D: It went really well. We had three main goals, beat Creek, win A-league, and to get third at state, we wrote them on a poster to put in the pool, so we’d see it everyday. We accomplished all three of the goals so that was really cool. It was just a lot of fun, we became a lot closer as a team.
H: In what ways is swimming different from any other sports?
D: It is very different from club to high school. Club is very individual but high school is pretty cool because it is still an individual sport but it is like inside of a team sport. You compete for yourself obviously but it goes towards a greater team. I really like it because it’s like the best of both worlds, it gives more of a team aspect.
H: Y’all have the reputation in the school for well planned dress-up days, what all goes into that?
D: (laughing) Well, thank you first of all. The last couple of years people wouldn’t participate, especially the underclassmen so this year the senior captains wanted more participation so they forced people to do it. They set up a punishment where if you didn’t dress up you’d have to swim a really hard event like the 200 fly.
H: You have been to three straight state meets now, what was special about this one? Was it the best yet?
D: This year was definitely the best. While I didn’t get first in one of my races this year, it was a more fun year overall. We all had a fun time and when we beat our rivals and accomplished our goals it was more exciting than anything. When a swimmer would finish before a Regis or Creek swimmer it was just super exciting and everyone would cheer really loudly.
H: There was a large batch of seniors leaving this season, what was it like swimming with them one more time?
D: Yeah there was quite a few. It was sad, I’ve noticed that I knew the seniors much better this year because I had been with them for more years than seniors in the past. It’s kinda sad that it won’t be the same ever again, but that is just how it works. Our 400 free relay had two seniors on it so it will be extra weird not swimming with them again.
H: Are you ready to fill in their shoes?
D: I have to figure out how they did it so that I can live up to it next year. They are definitely large shoes to fill but I’m excited.
H: Your quest for being a state champion two years running came up short, do you plan to be back on track next season?
D: I have no idea what event I’m going to swim next year. So a lot of that will depend on what I swim and what relays I am put in. I got second to a senior in the 200 free this year so I could make a run there, but there were a lot of girls right behind me in that race so I will definitely have to get better. Then last year when I was state champion in the 200 I.M. the girl I beat out for first has graduated so I could potentially do it there too. We will see, that is still a long way off.
H: Was there a moment when you first started swimming that you realized “dang, I’m actually really good at this!”?
D: I moved to a different summer swim team when I was in sixth grade, and that coach wanted me to try competitive swimming. I placed really well my first couple seasons and so I slowly dropped my other sports like soccer and volleyball and realized, “yeah, there are a lot of possibilities here.”
H: Is there a college swimming program that you have a special fancy for yet, or is it a bit to early to tell?
D: I for sure want to go divison one, but the recruiting season really starts this July so that is still a little ways out. I’ve looked at some different conferences I might like to go to. Big10 schools and Pac12 schools and ACC schools are on my watch.
H: Are you superstitious?
D: Before my races I always do the same routine in front of the blocks and I have special meet goggles I only wear to meets. But that is pretty lowkey compared to some swimmers, there are some that will only do the same warm up and use the same swim suit and wear the same outfit on meet days. I actually hate listening to music before races which is different from a lot of swimmers. I had one race where I listened to it beforehand and then I swam really badly and the race just hurt a lot.