It was a historic day for the Wildcat Swim team as Sophomore Elizabeth Fry made her mark on the block Feb. 16 at the Northwest Conference Championships. Fry, a biology major from Bellevue, Idaho set the new Linfield Women’s 1650-yard freestyle record coming in at 18:08.91.
“When I swam the mile, I knew it was my last chance to take any time off. So I just wanted to take time off–even if it was just one second. And so, when I looked at the scoreboard…it was a nice feeling.”
After countless hours in the pool, and in the weight room, it was evident that hard work had paid off for Fry as she chopped off a near 12 seconds from her previous personal best of time of 18:20.
“On Monday’s and Wednesday’s I do double swim practices from 6:00-7:30 am and 3:30-5:30 p.m. On Tuesdays I lift from 5:30-6:30 in the morning and we swim in the evenings,” Fry said. “We also have Saturday practices for a total of 11 practices in a week. During practice, I train with the men to push myself and it has made me a faster swimmer.”
Fry’s diligence and commitment to excellence have helped her to excel both inside and outside of the pool– hence her preceding and well deserved “Most Improved Swimmer” and “Most Valuable Swimmer” awards.
“As a swimmer, I’m not afraid to work hard,” Fry said. “In practices, I look at the board and most people are like ‘Oh I don’t want to do that’ but I go in and I do it; I push myself.”
However, Fry notes that she has not done it alone. Her head coach Gary Gutierrez has contributed immensely to her successes as a Wildcat.
“Gary pushes us. He gives us the right sets (in practice). He understands me, and I work well with him.”
On the other hand, Fry’s teammate Sophomore Nikki Overton has also contributed to her achievements. Overton, a nursing major from Gresham, Ore., is Fry’s closest friend and competition as Overton previously held Linfield’s 1650-yard Freestyle race record with time 18:11.26.
“Nikki and I are training partners and best friends. We have similar personalities but we compliment each other,” Overton said. “We push each other and train with each other. I train more and harder because of Nikki.”
Therefore, Fry’s conditioning and dedication made it only appropriate to increase Fry’s responsibility on the team. In the Northwest Conference Championships, Fry swam the 400 Individual Medley, 500 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 200 free relay, 200 Individual Medley relay, 800 freestyle relay, and the 400 free relay races.
Although she claimed that she did not attain her personal best in any of these races, Fry has found satisfaction this 2013-2014 swimming season. With goals of making a national time and qualifying for the National Championships, there is no doubt that Linfield will be seeing more of Fry in the future.
Casie Gaza/For the Review