The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


A burden to a boon

Juniors Issac Lewis and Max Hite use experience to prepare CG boys swim ahead of sectional finals
Ethan Gable
Junior Issac Lewis swims the breaststroke portion of the IM during a varsity meet against Franklin.

Four strokes. 200 meters. Countless nerves.

Stepping up to the block for last years’ 200 meter IM at the IHSAA swimming state championship, junior Issac Lewis finally felt the nerves. The whole season, coming down to a single moment. Thoughts racing through his head, quick as a blur. 

Four strokes. 200 meters. No more nerves.

Because as soon as the buzzer sound and he’s off the block, the nerves turn into muscle memory. The whole season, coming down to a single moment, not as a burden, but as a boon. And as he culminated the state race with his final stroke, his thoughts were cool, free-flowing, like the water in the IUPUI natatorium before the meet.

Although state meets can carry a variety of emotions and pressure with them, swimming in them can afford swimmers like Lewis to look back on them and grow.

“It’s definitely a different experience. It was nervous going up, but I didn’t really hit the nerves until I got up on deck,” Lewis said. “Of course I was nervous, but I definitely appreciated having that moment then, and now I can go back and know what it’s like and have a better expectation of what’s going on.”

The experience that Lewis gained during the state finals last year has allowed him to step into a leadership role, which lets him speak with credibility in the locker room, though being a leader presented a unique challenge at first.

“I was definitely excited and I knew it was going to be a different challenge, and with [one] senior and having to be that guy, and with Max, trying to be that [leader] has definitely been hard, and so has trying to mentor these other guys, but I think it’s been a nice challenge,” Lewis said.

Something that may allow Lewis to motivate younger swimmers to reach State is the acknowledgment of drastic improvement from their freshman to sophomore year, which Lewis believes is part of what got him to improve.

“I definitely see it in almost every swimmer I’ve ever met, the jump between freshman and sophomore year,” Lewis said. “When you finally get into freshman year and you’re new, you reach a training hump, and once you get over that, you’re more into high intensity training. You don’t see [improvement] much from that in your freshman year, but once you get into your sophomore year, you know what the expectation is, you know what the program is like, and you can get your goals set for your future.”

Junior Max Hite, a returning postseason swimmer, said he prepared better than he did his freshman year, which allowed him to improve and set an example for others.

“Over my freshman and sophomore year, I started going to the gym more and more, and started eating healthier,” Hite said. “I put on some muscle and lost some fat, so I got into better shape. I also changed my mindset to: ‘I’m going to work harder each day than my competition, in practice, so that I can beat them in a swim meet.”

In addition to hard work and motivation, Hite and Lewis also recognize the impact their experiences can have on younger swimmers.

“I think my leadership can affect them by just letting them know my experiences and just telling them to be confident, because this is a competition, another championship meet,” Hite said. “They should be confident going into it and not worried. It’s just racing fast people and doing your best.”

Being a leader can be difficult, but the culture and environment around the locker room has helped ease that transition for Lewis.

“It’s kind of like you’re brought up through when you were younger to when you’re older, almost as a system,” Lewis said. “I also don’t think [being a leader] has been too [difficult] because I’m a pretty vocal person and I always have been. I definitely think having the help of Max and the upperclassmen makes it easier to make that transition for sure. And it’s nice, making friends with the younger guys and having that transition makes it a lot easier for sure.”

Some of those younger swimmers will be getting ready to swim in the sectional finals this Saturday at Franklin Community. 

When they do get on the block, they will feel the pressure. The whole year, coming down to a single moment. 

In the end, it will be up to Lewis, who placed 24th in the state meet last year, and Hite to make sure they see this moment as a boon, not a burden.

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Gourav Pany
Gourav Pany, Website Editor
Junior Gourav Pany has been on staff for three years. He started his Publications career in his freshman year when writing stories about fantasy football and school features. Pany is a website editor and is currently working on sports and student features for the website, along with weekly sports previews. Pany would like to note that he likes writing, sports (especially soccer) and running.
You can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough. -Lionel Messi

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