Preparation Guidelines For A Swim Meet

With some solid base training, now is the time for KIS Varsity swimmers to show what they’ve got.

With the realization that mid-spring season is just around the corner, KIS Varsity swimmers from coast to coast are getting their goggles ready, priming up for one of the biggest meets of the year. KAIAC A/B Tournament at Chadwick International School will occur for the span of two days, from March 10th to 11th. As important as the competition is to the swim team as a whole, the swimmers have likewise shaved and tapered off their times to get prepped for the big race.  After weeks of investing all of the after school practices and those seemingly impossible routine sets, the opportunity to garner the rewards of the hard work is up to the students themselves. Now, it is the matter of how each and every swimmer is going to pull this off.

All swimmers are aware of the basic prerequisites needed to keep in mind before any race: rest, nutrition, gear, warm-up, and focus. It is clearly a given that double-checking on the essentials in a swim bag, consisting of a racing suit, goggles, cap, and any extraneous items such nutrition bars and dry towels, is crucial to do at least several days in advance. Along with a well-rested body and a positive, determined attitude, the swimmers would be able to get some of that pre-race anxiety off – the psychological and physical well-being in check. However, what other additional series of checklists do swimmers follow besides the very basics? After asking some of the fellow KIS student athletes, a wide array of responses revealed a lot more secrets to a good swim.

1. What do you do few days before a swim meet in preparation for the race?

“To be honest, I am the type to pack up everything the night before a meet, instead of doing it several days early. Few things I do before the race is of course carbo-load, such as whole-wheat pasta and lots of fruits and vegetables. I also learned recently that listening to music helps me get rid of the pre-race jitters as well, something to pump me up with a heavy, fast beat.”

– Matthew Lee, Sophomore

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Girls getting ready for the next event (PC: Ashley Kim)

  

2. What do you do on the day of the swim meet?

“Nothing much. I just try to sleep early the night before, and on the day of the meet, I basically try not to eat anything. Maybe I’ll allow a banana or two, but nothing else because if I feel too full, I can’t swim as fast as I want to. It’s also important to drink some water in between breaks.”

– Sarah Hong, Junior

 

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Only a few seconds away from jumping off the diving board (PC: Ashley Kim)

 

 

3. How do you deal with peer pressure and unfamiliar environments during a swim meet?

“Although at times I am caught under unfamiliar environments, especially as the only freshmen girl on the swim team, I often try my best to ‘adapt’ to such conditions by beginning conversations with other swimming team members or speaking to other school swimmers. Referring to peer pressure, I don’t think I am necessarily uncomfortable in new conditions; however, it is true that I attempt to ‘flow with the crowd’ by cheering on other team mates or by preparing for my own strokes.”

– Jennifer Kim, Freshmen 

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Members having fun after the relays (PC: Ashley Kim)

The best swimmers in the world have techniques that help them perform to their utmost ability, and they consider these strategies as they prep for tournaments. Obviously, the central objective of a swim meet is to see who can swim the fastest – to bring swimmers together and have them compete against one other. But the competition is only a part of the swim meet experience. Regardless of the outcome, good sportsmanship and enjoying the sheer participation of events are included in the sport that students work so hard to be part of.

A key point to remember about tournaments is that it is also supposed to be fun, full of cheering each other on and bonding with other school swimmers. Alongside these mental side notes, months of swimming and planning with intent always lead to a successful swim meet.

– Ashley Kim (’18)

Varsity Swim Team’s Strong Performance at AISA

Alas, the 2015-2016 spring sports season is coming to a close. With this in mind, KIS Varsity Swim team has taken a step further to finishing the term with a solid performance at this year’s AISA (Association of International Schools in Asia) meet at Seoul International School, from April 15th to 16th. The team was consisted of 16 swimmers as point scorers with 8 girls and 8 boys selected from total 26 members. Along with SIS and SOIS (Senri Osaka International School), KIS pulled off a phenomenal competition, bringing home excellent results.

 

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The 3 AISA teams of KIS, SIS, and SOIS

 

The 16 AISA swimmers were composed of Sarah Hong (10), Selena Kim (10), Hajung Lee (12), Hannah Lee (11), Seiyeon Park (11), Graisy Ra (9), Yonje Rhee (9), and Celine Yoon (9) from the girls team, and Sean Choi (10), Geo Han (11), Patrick Jung (10), Joonjae Kim (9), Keetae Kim (12), Junwon Lee (10), Ki Hwan Nam (12), and Jaehyeon Park (9) from the boys team.

 

The KIS Varsity Swim Team placed 2nd at the tournament with SIS placing 1st and SOIS in 3rd. However, surprisingly, the team was able to bring home the Team Sportsmanship Award this year, as SOIS had always claimed the title in the previous years. To add on to the wow factor, KIS swimmers broke 7 AISA records in total. First off, Celine Yoon, Selena Kim, Yonje Rhee and Sarah Hong set the new 200M medley relay record. Also, Sean Choi set the record in the 50M butterfly event. Last but not least, Yonje Rhee shocked everyone by setting records in the 200M Individual Medley, 50M and 100M butterfly, and 50M and 100M backstroke events – meaning new records for all the events she swam in. With this accomplishment, she was able to effortlessly claim the Top Female Swimmer Award as well.

 

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Yonje’s outstanding achievement

 

When the record setters of the team were interviewed with a few questions, they all answered with similarly enthusiastic reactions and responses.

 

  1. How did you feel about the AISA meet in general?

 

“I am very honored and grateful that I broke so many AISA records last weekend. I owe a lot of my accomplishments to the KIS swim team with the other swim members pushing me to work harder at every practice. The upcoming meet, KAIAC, will be the final competition this season and I am looking forward to the results that we as a team bring back. I was really proud to have represented our school during this swimming season and as a freshman, I am excited for the next swimming seasons,” Yonje responded with vigor.

 

“The AISA meet was a terrific experience in my high school swimming career as I have never swum that many events in the span of two days. Regarding my preparations for that meet, I did not particularly train extra specially or anything,” Sean remarked.

 

“AISA was really exciting and a lot of team bonding was made. Despite the limited pool size, the environment made us feel more like a tight team which was great. It was also a great opportunity to meet swimmers from other schools,” Selena said.

 

  1. How did you feel about setting new records for AISA?

 

“I am very proud of our team for breaking the AISA girls medley relay record. I believe we deserved 1st place because we all trained hard enough to be rewarded with the title. Half of our medley team swimmers went to the sophomore Experiential Education trip and could not train for several days, which worried us that we would not be able to swim our best. However, we all did great with no major problems, and I am very happy for that,” replied Sarah.

 

“I was honestly really surprised when the girls medley relay broke the AISA record because we’ve never beaten the SIS medley relay team before. But when I found out we broke an AISA record I felt very proud of not only our medley team but of the coaches and the entire team because they always supported us,” Selena remarked.

 

“Breaking the AISA record came to me as a surprise as I was not expecting it for several reasons. The meet in general was an exhausting experience as I have never swam 7 different events in a single day. Also, I had to swim the 100M IM merely ten minutes prior to the next event. Basically, I was dying. Breaking the record was NOT one of my goals. But the 50M butterfly is one of the only events I feel confident in winning because the time gap I have in between second place has always been a significant amount,” Sean added.

 

  1. How are you preparing for this upcoming KAIAC (Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference)?

 

“One of my main goals for the KAIAC meet is to break the KAIAC record for the 50m butterfly (which I have a long way to go). I have definitely been preparing extra hard for this meet: strict workouts, hellish training, and lots and lots of eating and sleeping”, Sean claimed.

 

“We’re swimming very intensely these days, around 2 kilometers every practice. Our coach is also pushing us to sleep and eat a lot. As of right now, the hard practices make me hate swimming but I know that when we get our best times in KAIAC, we’ll love swimming (and the coaches) again,” replied Selena.

 

“This year was my first year participating in AISA as a freshman and I learned so many things there. It felt really good for me to swim as hard as I could in AISA since I had practiced hard every day, and AISA was finally the time to show off what the team had been practicing for. Setting a new record for the girls medley relay was surreal, and it made me so thankful that our hard work at practices had payed off. The past few weeks were all about preparing for KAIAC and even though the drills that we do can be extremely tiring at times, I know that it’ll be worth it once I get to swim in KAIAC. KAIAC is the last competition of the season, and although I’m pretty nervous, I push myself to be the best swimmer that I can be everyday so that I won’t regret anything in the team’s last competition of the season!” Celine answered with glee.

 

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Team photo after meet, with the Team Sportsmanship Award

 

On the whole, the team’s sense of pride and spirit among each other heightened, and Mr. McClure, the Varsity Swim Team coach, was no exception.

 

“AISA in general was a really awesome meet with a fun format. Timewise, our team showed 2% improvement overall, and a lot of the swimmers decreased their previous records by at least 3 seconds. I also loved having Japan over, and just the whole idea of having three schools come along and swim together in such an exciting competition. What was most impressive was the Team Sportsmanship Award, which I personally think served as the whole school’s achievement. It proved that we have succeeded in accomplishing one of our school’s goals and raising our school’s reputation as a whole,” he responded passionately.

 

With a tightly packed training schedule and a determined mind to score, the Varsity Swim Team is ready to take on KAIAC and bring out the best results hopefully for a secure placing in the top 3’s. Afterall, swimming is a team sport, despite the many individualistic aspects.

 

– Ashley Kim (‘18)

 

The Logical and Eloquent: The KIS Speech and Debate Team

KIS’s very own forensics team was arguably the best in their first fall tournament of the year.

The October KAIAC Speech and Debate Competition, the first speech and debate tournament of the year, was a huge triumph for KIS. Championing the first place rank not only as a school for both speech and debate, our KIS speakers and debaters definitely deserve a big round of applause for having put in a tremendous amount of effort into this competition. Every member of the team worked exceptionally diligently after hours of practice over the past month, working to polish their debate skills and perfecting their speeches.

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

This competition was the first KAIAC competition for many students, especially the freshmen on the team. KIS Blueprint interviewed several students about their experiences in their first tournament.

“I guess for me it was a bit uncomfortable because I didn’t debate with my usual partner (Ariel) and there weren’t really many times to actually talk to my other partner so it was a bit of a struggle. However, I think we did well with the little practice we had together, and the competition wasn’t really intimidating or anything, but it might just be me. A lot of people were polite and friendly! :)”

– Jessica Kwon (‘19), Debate Team, Public Forum

“Because it was my first tournament, I’m not disappointed at all even without placing, because I was able to learn so much from the experience and witness so much talent out there!”

– Hope Yoon (‘19), Speech Team, Poetry

“It was great for me.”

– Marc Yoon (‘19), Debate Team, Public Forum

“It was a really great learning experience for me as I was able to witness and learn a lot of things, not only speech related! I was able to build more relationships with members of the KIS speech team, but also members of speech teams from other schools! Although at times we were frustrated and angry, overall, the experience is something I’ll never forget :)”

– Jenny Chung (‘19), Speech Team, Extemporaneous Speaking

“It was fun! I hated the food, though.”

– Leanne Kim (‘19), Speech & Debate Team, Original Oratory & Public Forum

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate TeamThe Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

Although there were some conflicts that occurred due to unexpected results, the tournament hosted at KIS ran pretty smoothly, due to the help of many behind-the-scenes workers. Timers and tabroom workers, who were voluntary KIS students, helped the judges out with timing the speeches and debates, and also with tabulating all of the results as quickly and as accurately as possible. Team captains ran around the school, organizing and making sure that all of the judges, coaches, debaters, speakers, and timers were in the right place. Mr. Burwell and Ms. Cuellar continuously circled back and forth around all the rooms, checking on the students as well as how the competition was running.

Our debate team achieved exceptionally high results: in Public Forum, Leanne Kim and Marc Yoon placed first, while Amy Kang and Jessica Kwon placed third. Eddie Kim won second place for Lincoln Douglas debate, and for Parliamentary debate, Jerry Kim and Claire Pak placed fourth. Furthermore, many members of the speech team received accolades for their superb performance: for Original Oratory, Amy Kang won first place while Chloe Shin was a finalist. Skylar Kim placed first, Amy Choi second, and Noah Kim a finalist for Solo Interpretation. For Poetry, Matthew Kim won second place, while Hope Yoon was a finalist. In Extemporaneous Speaking, Jenny Chung won second place, and Subin Hur was a finalist. Sara Kim placed first in Prose, while Michelle Park and Sally Lee were finalists. Katie Koo was third for Impromptu, while Sally Hong was a finalist. Finally, Leona Maruyama and Erica Lee placed third for Duo Interpretation, while Tiffany Namkoong and Suahn Hur were finalists.

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

As a member of the debate team myself, I personally know how hard each of the team members worked to accomplish such great achievements, and how hard everyone who participated must have worked to do so. I hope that in the future competitions, KIS will defend its title.

 

– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)