Shockwave set for swim meets on the road
The Mississippi Shockwave Aquatic Swim Team will spend a majority of its time over the next two weeks on the road and in the pool.
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When the Shockwave aren't competing, they are traveling to their next week.
After participating in the long course state meet from Thursday through Sunday in Cleveland on the campus of Delta State University, the Shockwave that qualify for nationals continue on to that event in Charlotte, N.C., the following week.
Shockwave coach Robert Gonzalez knows the demand on the swimmer's time, but is excited about keeping them competing in the water.
"There will be a lot of swimming over the course of the next week," Gonzalez said. "We've got 124 events and have kids in just about every single one of them so we are looking for some good swims out of those.
"For the next week, it's going to be tough for them but we have the confidence they should be able to maintain and get their personal bests at the biggest meet of the season."
Even though there are a couple of Shockwave swimmers who will not be able to make the trip for various reasons, Gonzalez said the team is strong going into the state meet.
Gonzalez believes his top 20 swimmers compare favorably with any in the field and likes the seeds for state.
"Our strongest events are the breaststroke at the end," Gonzalez said. "However after looking at the site sheet that came out recently, I'm kind of surprised with how high we're seeded in the backstroke events also. It's a little bit higher than usual so I'm hoping out kids can come through and hold there.
"It's going to depend on how they are feeling that day in their particular events and they can move up even more. We could see a good competition for our team."
Two members of the Shockwave squad have already qualified for nationals and Gonzalez depends on them for a good showing at state.
Laken Vickers is nationally-qualified in age 14 girls for the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 50 and 100 freestyle, while Cheng Ye is nationally-qualified in age 14 boys for 100 and 200 breastroke, the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley.
"They should be in the top three in all of their races and are going into the meet this week as the top seeds in the breaststroke," Gonzalez said. "As a coach, you want them to hold on to that top spot this weekend, but for our staff, we're looking for them to peak out next week (at nationals)."
Despite being out-numbered by Mississippi Makos and other Jackson swim teams, Gonzalez is again anxious to go into the state meet with his best.
"We're looking forward to the experience and gaining that competition factor," Gonzalez said. "For the ones we have going to nationals the following week, we're hoping they can get some solid swims in this weekend and build some confidence and get a good feel of the water before we head off to Charlotte."