Girls Swimming: Lockport’s Amanda Moran likes timing on taper
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media November 14, 2012 9:18PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 12:16PM
Lockport’s Amanda Moran has a good track record with tapering, a training technique that allows tired muscles to heal and typically produces a significant time drop.
For Moran though, predicting that time drop is another story.
“I always taper really well, but it’s always different,” Moran said. “During club season, sometimes it’s one second. Sometimes it is three seconds. I’m not really sure because I felt horrible (at sectionals) so hopefully, I do good.”
Moran finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke at the state meet last season as a sophomore. Now a junior, her times coming into the sectional were below the state qualifying cut. Rather than utilizing the taper training then, she held off, hopefully saving the time cut for state.
“It made everything more interesting; wearing a normal suit, not shaving my legs, not tapering,” Moran said. “Everything was a risk. The pressure is off at the state meet now. I want to do better than fifth so it gives me something to work for.”
Rising to the challenge
Oak Lawn swimmer Samantha Smolka is the lone south suburbanite taking part in the first statewide IHSA competition for athletes with disabilities.
The state meet will have four events for athletes with disabilities. Smolka will swim in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.
Smolka is legally blind. The senior has tunnel vision where she can see in front of her but has limited peripheral vision.
“Like any high schooler, she’s nervous,” Oak Lawn coach T.J. Zuzga said. “The state meet at Evanston is intense. Swimming at the Paralympics, she has a lot of experience that she can fall back on.”
Fenwick swimmer Mary Kate Callahan, who is paralyzed from the waist down, brought suit against the IHSA in May, seeking opportunities for disabled athletes in IHSA-sanctioned competition. A settlement in September paved the way for this weekend’s inaugural competition.
“When the state recognizes students with disabilities with the understanding they wouldn’t get this chance otherwise, it’s great to see,” Zuzga said.