NSA swims strong at states

Published 6:53 pm Saturday, March 4, 2017

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy swim coach Lauren Keating recently experienced her first state meet as a coach, and it was growing experience for her and her team.

NSA’s swim season is over after participating in the state meet Feb. 20. Keating said she barely slept the first night of the meet because of how excited she was for her swimmers. Keating, a 23-year-old first-year coach, was once a swimmer in state meets as well, and she remembers how exciting the moment can be.

At first, Keating admits, she leaned on some of the longer-tenured coaches at VISAA for advice on how the meet is formatted. It was eye-opening for her to be on the other side of things: the committee meetings, rules and regulations.

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Her father was her high school swim coach, so it was a neat experience for her to walk in his shoes, she said. She also gives credit to her assistant coach, Kim Wagner, who has helped her through her first year as a coach.

“My assistant coach is wonderful,” Keating said. “She has been an assistant swim coach at NSA for 10 years. Her experience and prior knowledge of how the NSA program is ran helped, as well as her connection with the kids really made the season as great as it was. I would not have had as much fun without her.”

Overall, NSA had a great meet. Everyone who competed swam a personal best. On the first day of competition, the swimmers seemed to be a bit nervous. They didn’t swim well in their first events, but from there they all outperformed their best times.

“States is the only big competitive meet most of my athletes have ever swam in,” Keating said. “So it takes a lot of mental discipline not to allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the size and length of the meet.”

Next year Keating is optimistic about what the future holds.

“I really enjoyed coaching such hard working and respectful kids,” she said. “Most of my swimmers are multiple sport athletes, which is an excellent way to stay conditioned. I wish them all the best in their spring sports.”

Notable results:

Nic Psimas swam the 100 free in 51.05, dropping two seconds.

Madi Wilson dropped two seconds in the 500 free, going from 6:04 to 6:02.

The girls’ 400 free relay dropped the most time, from 4:08.6 to 4:04.9. Tori Psimas, Anna Grace Towler, Madi Wilson and Berkley Puzey formed the team.