Most high school athletes say they prefer playing a game to practicing for an event.

Seymour swimmer Allison Hayes has the opposite outlook.

“I think my favorite part would have to be practice because I’ve made so many friends,”

she said.

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Hayes said you build up stress during school, worry about having time to get your homework done and other things outside swimming and then just concentrate in the water.

During practices, the Owls rely on a number of exercises to get their swimmers in shape.

“We alternate pushups and an abs circuit, and we stretch, and then we have a warm-up,” Hayes said. “Some days are recovery days, and some days are really hard. It’s been really hard this season. It’s the hardest season I’ve ever had.”

This is the second season for Hayes as a

team captain.

“Girls are a little bit different than the boys,” Hayes said. “The girls are a little dramatic sometimes, so it’s a lot of mediating: little cat fights and stuff like that. A big part of it is having a good mental attitude. I won the mental attitude award last year.”

Hayes began swimming in third grade

and trained for the individual medley before

high school. The medley consists of four different strokes. She said she practiced all four strokes during preseason workouts.

“I think freestyle is my favorite, but I really enjoy swimming the IM because it’s a change from the other individual events,” Hayes said. “My freshman year I started out in the sprint freestyles — the 50 and 100 — and I’ve stayed with that, but that might change this year.”

Hayes is willing to race in any event that helps the team win a meet.

“I like the 50 and 100, but I’m also willing

to accept whatever is best for the team,”

Hayes said.

“I’m a fan of the relays. I think it’s kind of interesting to see how four people can pull together with all the different attitudes and personalities and have one goal in common.”

The senior has raced both first and last in relay events.

“Last year I anchored during the season, and then at sectionals I went first. I like going first,” Hayes said. “The fastest people are in lane three, but I actually like being in an outside lane because you can see everybody, and its easier to breathe, and that helps a lot.”

She helped the Owls break the school record in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay last year at the sectional, and she is close to the school mark in the 50 free, where

her best time is 25.8. The school record is 25.06.

“The 50 free happens very quickly,” Hayes said. “If you mess up you can throw the whole race away in the blink of an eye. I’ve actually been told I have a very good start, which is good. I close my eyes, I listen and the first thing I hear, I go. You’ve got to hit the wall right on the turn.”

This season, Hayes’ goals are to help the relay teams break school records and win at least one event to qualify for the state meet.

“I can’t over-think my race,” she said. “Dave (Boggs, head coach) actually tells us to get in the zone, but not to over-think it, especially with the 50. If you try to think about 10 different things you’re just going to blow it. I usually pick one thing to focus on and do that the whole race.”


Who: Allison Hayes

Family: Parents, Craig Hayes, Shelba Hayes; sister, Molly

Sport: Swimming 4 years

Athletic honors: Helped set school records in 200 free relay and 400 free relay, mental attitude award winner, team captain twice

Organizations: National Honor Society, FFA, D.A.R.E Role Model

Home meets: “I like the home meets because I’m comfortable there and I know the pool really well. It’s a good pool.”

Favorite away pool. “I like Floyd Central because of all the windows. The sectional is there.”

Schedule: “The S Invitational is my favorite. I do very well at it. The conference is kind of like a dress rehearsal for the sectional. It shows me where I’m seeded and everything. I think I’m most excited to see how we place at sectionals. Our girls team is probably one of the best we’ve ever had.”

Attending SHS: “I really like it here. I’m taking five AP classes this year, and it’s allowed me to push myself. I didn’t realize how hard school was going to get. You get out of it what you put into it, and I’ve put a lot into it. I’m looking forward to graduating and going to college. I’m going to miss swimming a lot. It’s going to be different because I swim 10 months out of the year. It’s always been my stress reliever and what I do when I don’t have anything else to do. When I get to college, I’m going to have a lot of free time, and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.”

Plans after high school: attend Indiana University for a medical field

Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese

Favorite musician: Jason Aldean

Favorite movie: “The Breakfast Club”

Favorite athlete: Ryan Lochte

Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.