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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 1, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: 49 and counting for Warrior swimmers

Cedar Rapids Washington's John Kopec, swimning the backstroke in the 200-yard individual medley during their dual swim meet against Linn-Mar in December, reflects on his four years as a Warrior swimmer. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By John Kopec, Washington senior 

CEDAR RAPIDS – My roots started showing through my bleached hair about a week ago, a reminder that my final season as a Warrior swimmer is close to an end.

This fact has reminded me of all the things I will and will not miss about swimming.

In the past four years, I have endured months of 5 a.m. practices, bleached locks, tedious workouts and one hellish rookie cut. I have learned how to virtually sleep with my eyes open during class, and that double-lunch naps are a wonderful thing. The countless amount of yardage and the bubbling lactic acid in my muscles has left me cramped up and exhausted.

The winter has become a constant cycle of swimming, eating and sleeping.

These sacrifices have not been without reward, however. For one, swimming has allowed me to participate in my other favorite activity (eating copious amounts of food) without any remorse.

It also has given me the opportunity to be part of a tradition that has been embedded into the history of Washington. With Coach Chris Cruise’s record still standing high on the Warrior leaderboards, his coaching and technique has helped continue this amazing tradition. After 49 district titles in a row (and one more to come), Warrior swimming proves that hard work does pay off.

To be a part of something so memorable, it would impossible for our team to let the tradition down during this 50th year of winning districts

“Smash’em, bash’em, give them hell. Go Warriors go!”

For more Washington news and sports go to: http://crwashsurveyor.com


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