Sophie Vietor breaks one minute in the 100 yard freestyle


Maria Newton

Senior Sophie Vietor practices her dive at swim practice. As a sprinter, the beginning of a race is important. “My experiences on the swim team have been great,” Vietor said. “the practices are really hard, but it helps me push myself.”

Senior Sophie Vietor broke one minute in the 100 yard freestyle at the Kirkwood Invite on Jan. 12 and 13 for girls swimming in her second year of being on the team. Breaking a minute in the 100 yard freestyle is a milestone for swimmers and is a goal that head coach Allison Wallace had set for Vietor as well as two other swimmers: sophomore Emma Caplinger and junior Kendyl Plappert.

“Even when I was swimming, [going under a minute] was always a really big thing,” Wallace said. “When you see your time go from one minute to 59 seconds, it really helps your confidence.”

Wallace not only set this goal, but has been pushing the girls to improve their speed at practice. Additionally, Wallace has been providing incentives for the girls to achieve their goal.

“Little things like getting out of practice 15 minutes early,” Wallace said. “I know it seems small, but it helps.”

Vietor also plays soccer, but she tried out for the swim team her junior year after being pushed by her friends and now teammates, seniors Sarah Bonnett and Molly Bickert.

“I joined the team mainly because Sarah and Molly convinced me to do it for fun,” Vietor said. “It started out as a joke, and then the next thing I knew I was at tryouts.”

Vietor returned her senior year and has been working hard in the pool, attempting to gain strength and drop time.

“My experience on the swim team has been great,” Vietor said. “The practices are really hard and it’s a challenge, but it helps me push myself.”

When you see your time go from one minute to 59 seconds, it really helps your confidence.”

The Kirkwood Invite is a large meet with 13 teams in attendance which pushed Vietor to go faster.

“The atmosphere was more competitive, and there were a bunch of other schools there,” Vietor said. “The atmosphere pushed me [to break a minute].”

The Kirkwood Invite is a preliminaries-finals meet, meaning on Friday afternoon the whole team competes and then on Saturday, the top 16 swimmers in each event compete again.

“I was nervous in a good way,” Vietor said. “The pressure helps me to do my best.”

In order to qualify for the state meet, swimmers must hit a standard time in order to qualify, which can take place at any competition.

“At the Kirkwood Invite one of my relays [the 200 freestyle relay] qualified for state,” Vietor said. “Going to state was a personal goal of mine this year.”

Vietor is planning on continuing the work to try and qualify to go to state individually as an alternate, which is a position decided by Wallace based on times at the end of the season.

“Having just joined swim my junior year, I feel like I have grown so much as a swimmer,” Vietor said. “I am reaching goals that my coach and I have set and I feel like all the hard work is starting to pay off.”