Mansfield swimmer working to improve technique in summer season

06/16/2014 10:28 AM

06/16/2014 10:29 AM

It may be ironic, but much of the summer swimming season workouts for Mansfield’s Lauren Thompson are spent on dry ground.

The sophomore-to-be said that much of her focus during the next three months will be cardiovascular and weight training.

“I want to get stronger and improve my times,” Thompson said.

That’s not to say she doesn’t spend her fair share of the time in the pool, though.

In her third year with the Mansfield Aquatic Club (MAC) for the summer season, Thompson said there’s plenty to work on to help drive down her times for the next school year.

“The coaches give me tips on things such as pulls (during the breast stroke), the wall and underwaters, and every little thing you can improve on,” she said.

What she’d like to improve on is a freshman season as a top-seven finisher in the 200m IM and 100m breast stroke at the 5A state swim meet.

En route to the state meet, Thompson won the regional swim meet in the 100m breast. At the state meet, she was sixth in the breast stroke and seventh in the 200m IM.

Thompson is also close to qualifying for the USA Swimming Nationals, said her MAC coach, Cody Huckabay.

Also competing for the MAC is Legacy swimmer Haley Yelle. She had won the 4A state championship in the 200m Free and was second in the 500m Free as a freshman.

While Thompson said she realizes any strength and cardio improvement she makes during her summer season will benefit her varsity campaign, she also hopes to spend more time on other strokes she normally doesn’t spend time competing in.

“I’d like to get better in the freestyle and I’ve got room to improve on my long events,” Thompson said. She also noted the 50m events – more like sprints – are another aspect she can use the summer season for rounding out her repertoire.

Another difference between the May-August season is swimming the “long course” in 15m pools rather than the shorter, 25-yard pools of the high school and collegiate competitions. The longer courses require fewer turns and technique.

Goals for the summer also include qualifying for the state and junior nationals events. The MAC will swim in qualifying meets in hopes of getting swimmers to the state meet in the new San Antonio outdoor facility this summer.

The MAC will also be traveling to a major meet in Fort Myers, Fla., in August.

All the summer competitions will certainly help swimmers gain the attention of college programs for further consideration as the athletes complete their varsity careers. For swimmers like Thompson, though, the immediate focus is on improving for their schools’ season later in 2015.

“I want to get on the podium,” Thompson said of her long-term goal to place in the top three at the state meet. “That’s what I’m aiming for.”

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