By Margaret Weir
Liz Thompson is a team player. She became captain of the City College women’s swim team when her teammate Daniela Fiestas-Paredes recommended her to the coach.
“I said, ‘I think the person who would be a good captain is Liz,’” Fiestas-Paredes said.
Thompson began swimming casually when she was five, but it was after she joined her high school swim team that she decided to pursue the sport more seriously. She intends to attend a four-year school and major in environmental engineering after leaving City College.
“We can either have a hard practice and not have it be worth anything, or have a hard practice and be really proud of what we did. Either way, it hurts in the morning.”
Thompson’s event of choice is the individual medley, a grueling test of skill and strength comprised of four swimming styles. She also competes in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly.
“Swimmers can either do fast events, like sprinting, or endurance. I think I’m a better endurance (swimmer),” Thompson said as her teammates furiously nodded in agreement behind her.
The team practices four or five days a week, spending two hours in water and one hour on land. Both technique and practice are really important in swimming, Thompson said.
It’s a thorough workout. As captain, Thompson motivates herself and her colleagues to get through it.
“I think people always want to kind of cheat on practice, but I like to remind myself and everyone else that we only have one chance to do this right,” Thompson said. “We can either have a hard practice and not have it be worth anything, or have a hard practice and be really proud of what we did. Either way, it hurts in the morning.”
Thompson is undeterred by the daunting physical demands of her sport. The most satisfying part of swimming is when the coach gives them a really hard set and she manages to work her way through it, Thompson said.
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