Swimming: Extra thoughts from girls swimmer of the year Sarah Baturka

There is only so much of my 10-minute sit down with swimmer of the year Sarah Baturka that we had room for in the paper. Despite being a freshman, Baturka is a really good quote, so here’s a little more of her reflections on the season.


Girls swimmer of the year Sarah Baturka of Episcopal Academy. (Times Staff/JULIA WILKINSON)

On replacing her older sister, graduated three-time Daily Times swimmer of the year Emily on the medley relay:

It’s definitely an adjustment because you know that you’re not going to be a fast as your older sister and you don’t want to let the relay down because Emily could swim faster than my 50 backstroke. But then again, the team was really understanding about it and we were still able to win, so that wasn’t an issue. As far as being a leader, I know Emily was more of a quiet leader, and since I’m an underclassmen, I don’t take many leadership roles. But I’m sure that my team respects me and we all get along really well.

On nerves ahead of Easterns:

The week leading up to it was a pretty big week because you could tell everyone at the pool was antsy wanting to get down to La Salle to swim and everybody was feeling good. Everybody was hitting their taper well. And just a month before, everyone was feeling down in their races and feeling sluggish but we all knew that the coaches would get us swimming fast at the end of the year, so our tapers were really good. Friday, I came in and I can normally tell how the meet is going to be judging by how well I’m warming up. And during warmup I just felt really loose and pretty relaxed and confident that I would have all my hard work shine through.

On improving her IM:

A big part of my success in the 200 IM was improving my breaststroke this year. I got that down, and I think it’s good that I’m not technically a breaststroker because my coach is able to mold me into the kind of breaststroker he wants me to be. I definitely have some bad habits in the backstroke that are going to be hard to kick, but since I’m not a breaststroker, it was pretty easy to correct my stroke and just get that time down.

On working with EA coach Quincy Hyson:

Coach Hyson knows exactly what I can do and knows what I am capable of. We did a lot of mental preparation because (the 200 IM) was the race that I struggled with in finals last year because I let the nerves overcome me. Coach Hyson knows me incredibly well and knew exactly how to fix my breaststroke.

On the depth of the Churchmen:

It’s good to know not only that our team has such depth, but with an eighth-grader being able to win that we have so many up-and-comers. To see the coaches’ excitement, it shows that they were just as happy as we were because all their hard work paid off and all our hard work paid off and we were able to share in each other’s joy.


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