The final race in her final home meet at Pioneer Ridge Middle School is one Chanhassen senior Sophia Becker will always remember.
From Zoe Thoma to Daisy Lang to Becker to Sophie Macy, 400 yards swam, a time of 3:39.10. A new pool record in the bottom relay.
Certainly a time to celebrate about.
"We never thought we could post that time. We weren't even sure we'd beat the record. Maybe we'd squeak in there," Becker said. The old record was 3:43.05. "Not only did it give all four of us so much confidence in our swimming, but it brought the whole team together. The support from our team, we wouldn't have gotten there without all of them. Even in practice, the cheering of each other, it helped us get to that time."
Chanhassen, with the 101-77 win over Bloomington Jefferson Oct. 10, clinched its sixth straight Metro West Conference title. The Storm are 40-0 all-time in league duals in the conference.
Becker, one of the team's top sprinters, shined throughout the meet, swimming a leg on the victorious 200-yard freestyle relay as well. Her teammates were Lang, Lulu Franke and Chloe Zeller, a time of 1:42.22.
"I definitely feel faster this year. We're doing a lot more dryland training out of the pool. I think I've grown a little bit taller, so I feel good right now about where I'm at," Becker said.
In three consecutive seasons, Becker has had a new head coach on the Chanhassen High School team. Just when she came to understand the expectations, the routines, it all changed again.
Though through it all, transition has made her a better swimmer. She's ready for any challenge. A relay specialist last season, Becker has taken on the butterfly stroke this year. She posted a time of 1:03.54 in the event Oct. 10.
It's all about setting up for the most success with all three relays for sections later this season. That might mean using Becker in the butterfly stroke and allowing Sophie Macy to swim breaststroke.
"(Head coach Barb Folsom) told us those relay spots will come down to whoever is fastest in these dual meets, so we're really all pushing to be on those relay teams," Becker said. "I've been working so much on fly in practice. Whenever we have a primary set I'm always in the butterfly group, and any time there's a choice, I'm working on fly, too. It's different for me."
Becker continues to push herself and be pushed by teammates and coaches all with a goal in mind of doing her best at the right time of the season. It's a trust process, one though, that she believes in.
"Having a new coach every year has kind of helped actually. I'm getting to meet this person, and understand their coaching style, so I feel like it's helped me develop more as a swimmer going through all of these experiences," Becker said.
The senior said the biggest difference with Folsom is she doesn't believe in "garbage yardage."
"Every set that she makes has a purpose and she explains that to us, which is really nice," Becker said.
TOUGH WEEKS AHEAD
With the dual season over, the next two to three weeks are some of the toughest all season for swimmers. Yardage goes up, all trying to set the taper for sections and some for state.
Both physically and mentally practices become a grind. It's about leaning on each other for support, knowing the end result is a favorable one.
"We focus heavily on training with no more meets left. Usually we'll have a meet on Thursday so you'll go hard for a couple of days and then cool down. So, we'll power through two weeks with some heavy training," Becker said.
"Personally, it's the team. The energy at practice is always so positive. Even if you're going through these hard sets you're going through it with your best friends and that's not too bad," she added.