Photo by Hayley Bell
In the fall of 2017, senior Hayden Linscott will continue to swim competitively after graduating from East. After seeing the dynamic of all the teams on official visits, Linscott chose University of Minnesota.
Linscott knew he wanted to swim in college after being inspired by the upperclassmen his freshmen year. His goal to swim in college made every practice more intense —110%, no matter the day. Junior and senior years his times were dropping and he was competing against some of the fastest high schoolers.
Linscott came from a family of athletes. According to him, this helped reach his goal of playing in college. His mom played golf at Missouri State University and his two younger sisters competitively swim. His mom knows the intensity of being an athlete in high school, allowing him to have assistance when balancing study time and practice. According to Linscott, his family, especially his parents, push him to be the best he can be. Like most athletes, he isn’t always in the mood for 5 a.m. practices, but his parents were there to ask the question, “What do you really want to do?”
In addition, Linscott says he didn’t like swim until he came to East. When he swam for Kansas City Swim Academy, it was more of an individual competition — but when he made varsity freshman year, Linscott felt he was finally on a team — eating at team dinners and celebrating after meets. He was then able to find the motivation to push for college.
After graduating this year, senior Grant Roesner will be running track at Baker University, specializing in the events 400 [meters] by 4 [people], 4 by 100 and 200 meters.
Roesner found his way to reach the goal of participating in college track in college by running three miles in his neighborhood everyday after practice. He made the JV track team freshman year, and although he wasn’t completely satisfied, it made him determined him to work harder than he would have, earning him a spot on Varsity by the end of his sophomore year.
According to Roesner, a tactic he used to improve was picking someone on the team who was better than him, then pushing himself to reach the same times, or even faster. His freshman year, he looked up to then senior, Joe Libeer. Sophomore year, Roesner found a new person of inspiration, [year] Max Peter.
Roesner’s dad ran track in high school and is his hardest coach. Always reminding Roesner of the times that he could and should be getting. “No days off!” was the mantra his dad reminded Roesner of anytime he wanted a break.
“I’m competitive,” Roesner said. “I just love winning.”
It was mid-season of his junior year that Roesner realized running in college was within reach. He decided the next journey he was ready to take was pushing himself to the college level.
Senior Ian Longan wasn’t always sure he would swim in college, but within the last season of high school swim, he knew going into the next stage of his life without swim wasn’t an option. Advancing to compete at the collegiate level was all due to the tie between him and the sport that he wasn’t willing to give up after his final meet as a senior.
Dedication wasn’t hard for him. It was a sport he loved, so the three hour long practices weren’t a burden. He practiced hard in the off-season by swimming with Kansas City Swim Academy and got serious in-season.
Longan’s main motivation in high school were his teammates and coaches. They were there every step of the way, not allowing slack. Longan believes at its roots, swim is a team sport. He relies on his teammates, to put everything into their races to benefit the team, as they do on him.
“When it comes down to it, I was swimming more for them than I was for my own personal gain;” Longan said.