Five weeks ago, members of the ESU Swimming team headed to York to compete in the 2019 PSAC Championships. For junior Olivia Lukeshides, this was her third consecutive time attending the PSAC Championships and she said “the experience was amazing!”
Lukeshides swam in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events, and finished exceptionally well. The junior demolished her previous personal record and set a new ESU school record in the 100 freestyle, posting a time of 52.16 in the preliminary rounds.
This also helped her advance to the final as the number 3 qualifier. Sadly, she missed out on the Division II NCAA ‘B’ standard of 52.11 by 0.05. In the 200-freestyle final, Lukeshides touched the wall in fifth place. She didn’t stop there. She continued on to set another school record, breaking her previous record with a time of 1:55.70.
For Lukeshides, this was a great feeling.
“I was not expecting some of those times at all so I was super excited! I would not have been able to do it without my coach Brie Globig. Alongside Brie, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my amazing team.”
Lukeshides also participated in the 400-yard freestyle relay and helped the team take home tenth place.
Despite Lukeshides breaking a school record that she had already set in the 200 freestyle, she said that “breaking a record does still excite me.”
She continued, “I don’t go into a race wanting to break records, I just go in wanting to drop time and try my best.”
For Lukeshides, this success comes after consistent hard work in the pool all season. Lukeshides finds her inspiration to put in the hard yards daily from her dad.
“My dad was a basketball player so he has that competitive mindset and understands how hard training for a sport can be. He always wanted me to do my best and is always positive no matter the outcome. That really pushes me to do my best so that I can make him proud,” Lukeshides said.
During the PSAC Championships, her team was also an inspiration and the support she needed to calm her nerves and put everything she had into the races. She described her team as a family describing the great team atmosphere.
“We push each other every day in the water and going to practice and being able to swim with my friends makes it so much better,” Lukeshides said.
She also said that despite the individual nature of each event in swimming, the team did a great job of coming together and supporting each other in their successes and failures.
Looking to her final season of swimming as a senior next year, Lukeshides hopes to be able to continue to drop time and work towards getting a NCAA “B” cut. This year she missed it by 0.05seconds. Overall, she said her main goals were that “the team just to continue to work hard and support each other.”
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