Serena Nguyen, Art Director/Staff Writer

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Steady breaths. Stepping up on the block in a perfect lineup, putting your goggles on, taking your mark…BEEP! Water splashing everywhere, at any given moment trying to gasp for air while swimming as rapidly as possible, like you are fighting for your life. Eleanor Sims (12) and Sienna Ellison (11) illustrate the preparation of a swim meet.

“[Before any relay], the first person goes when the buzzer goes off and then swims either a 50 or a 100 yard, and then, the next person will go and so on and so forth,” Sims said.

Usually the fourth person is the fastest and being the last person can come with pressure; however, with pressure comes amazing hype from the team.

“The fourth person is usually the fastest and it’s always fun when two relays are close together because we just scream at the last person to keep going or if you are the last person, you feel the tension and work your absolute hardest to beat the last person,” Sims said.

The presence of the team helps with the nervousness that comes with a swim meet. They support and aid others to do their best.

“Although swimmers have to wake up really early to get ready at 7:45 to meet for warm ups, my teammates are always super positive and motivated for their events,” Ellison said.

With different relays comes different styles of swimming. For Ellison it’s butterfly and for Sims it’s freestyle.

“Personally, I like butterfly. Although it’s probably the most difficult style, I feel strongest when competing with that stroke,” Ellison said.

Swimming is a full body sport, it requires much physical effort like speed, coordination, and flexibility; swim meets show progress and the vibe of the team. Positive and hyped teammates can push others to try harder. The Lenoir City High School team’s 2023 season comes to an end as they compete Saturday, January 28th at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.