Athlete of the Week: Senior Swimmer Grace Frericks

Kentucky swimming commit and Cedar Falls senior Grace Frericks set an MVC meet record last week in the 100 meter backstroke with a time of 56.46.

For you, what was a highlight of your most recent competition?

My last competition was Conference, and it came down to whether we won the last relay. I saw the girls rally down at the end of the lane cheering for my relay and knew my girls on the relay swimming would put in the work to win.

What makes your sport special and different?

It is very mentally draining being at the pool every day for at least three+ hours a day, six times a week, but it is incredibly rewarding and going through challenges creates a very strong bond with your teammates.

How long have you been into this sport and, and what were the early days of your participation? 

I started competitively swimming when I was 6 because my brother was in the sport and my parents wanted me to have the skill to swim. I played multiple sports in my early childhood, and swimming was never my favorite until something clicked in junior high with my sport.

How did/do you cope with any setbacks/losses you’ve experienced in your sport?

Doing other sports, I have gone through multiple injuries because I guess my body was made for a water sport instead of a land sport. It was super hard because swimming is a sport where if you take any time off, it sets you back incredibly. I have a very great support system that kept me motivated and wanted to heal fast.

Who has been particularly influential in helping your growth in this sport?

When I was younger I saw so much success from the sport with my brother, and I wanted that. Then as I got older, seeing my parents at every meet cheering me on and being proud of me. And, of course, including my coaches who have always believed in me no matter what.

What do you do to prepare yourself before a game?

I feel a lot of pressure on myself in my sport, so I do whatever I can to push that in the back of my mind. I like to keep talking with my teammates and watching them swim before my races.

How do you work on improving your skills in this sport?

Even though some days it’s really hard to be motivated and go to practice every day, at the same time it’s harder for me to miss practice or mess around during our sets. I make sure I am there 100 percent of the time and getting everything I can out of every practice.

What’s a personal skill that you are targeting lately?

I know that I have the speed in the water but not always the best technique on flip turns, so right now that is the biggest thing I’ve been needing to improve on to get faster.

Do you have plans to play this sport after high school?

Yes, I plan to attend the University of Kentucky to further my swim career.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your sport?

The feeling you have after you finish your race and you do go that best time and feel all the work that you have put into the season finally pays off.

What has been a highlight for you/your team so far this season?

In my high school career, we haven’t won a conference title until this year, and being my senior year, it was really fun to watch all the girls come together to win.

As you see it, what are the biggest tests remaining for you/your team yet this season?

A lot of our girls are young and haven’t gotten the opportunity yet to be able to see or swim at State. I just can’t wait to see them at Regionals go best times and hopefully make it to state with me.

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