Q&A with Athlete of the Week freshman and Varsity swimmer James Schipfer on preparing for state.
Q: What has the team been doing to prepare?
A: We just show up to practice with a really good mentality. We work hard because we’ve won state the past four years and we really want to try to make it a fifth time in a row. We know there’s tough competition out there so we want to work as hard as we can and try to beat everyone.
Q: How have you done so far this season?
A: So far I’ve been on all the “A” relays and I’ve qualified for about eight relays for state and three individual events, but I can only swim two so we’re deciding which ones I’m doing.
Q: What events did you qualify for state in?
A: I’ve qualified for three events: the 200 IM, 100 back and 500 free but you can only do two individual events, so I’m more than likely doing the 200 IM but we’re still deciding between the 100 back and 500 free.
Q: What schools are most challenging to compete against?
A: There’s Blue Valley North and Lawrence Free State. That’s kind of the main competition for us then there are some good ones in Wichita.
Q: What’s been your favorite part about the season?
A: I really enjoyed meeting new people because this is my first non-club swim team I’ve been on and it’s been more fun and more chill. We love having a good time and we go out to dinner after some practices and all the meets which is fun.
Q: What’s your favorite stroke?
Q: How is high school season different than club swimming?
A: High school is more fun and more team based whereas club is kind of an individual sport but there’s still a team atmosphere. Here you really see it shine through and we cheer for each other so it’s a lot more fun.
Q: What were you looking forward to before the season started?
A: Mostly state but also meeting the new team and hanging out with them. It’s been a lot more fun and interesting being on a team with guys that are like 18 and older than me but they treat me like family so it’s been really fun.
Q: What do you like about being on the team?
A: I really like it because it’s a great group of people to have your back and you can go to them if you need anything. My mom always says like ‘James you need to do more social things’ but we’re super social at practice all the time and you just get to talk and hang out with people while working hard and achieving your goals.