For The Tribune
Sarah Montgomery has three older brothers who swim at Seymour High School, so it was only natural for her to spend a lot of time in the water.
She began swimming at an early age in the Seymour Swim Club and this winter in her fourth season swimming for the Owls.
“My freshman year to junior year I swam the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke,” she said. “This year I’m switching to 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle.”
The butterfly has become her favorite individual event.
“I think everybody has a different body structure,” Montgomery said. “They just fit a stroke, and I understand butterfly’s technique, so I like it. (The) kick is very important. You have to get your hips out to be really good.”
Even though she placed first in the 200 free in the Seymour Invitational, Montgomery prefers the shorter races.
“I’m definitely not a distance swimmer,” Montgomery said. “In the 50 free I’ve gone a 25.5, but now before taper I’ve gone a 26.9,” Montgomery said. “It’s super important to get your kicks really good, and just get off the wall really fast.”
Montgomery said she also likes the 200 medley and 200 free relay over the 400 free relay.
“I definitely like the 200 relays better than the 400 relay because I like to sprint, and we’ve been more successful with the 200 medley and the 200 free relay,” she said.
The senior is a member of both those relay teams that hold school records.
She said she enjoys swimming the medley relay, which is the first event.
“I think that just gets you ready for the rest of the meet,” Montgomery said. “That first event kind of sets the tone for the meet. I always do the fly in the medley relay.”
Since the 50 free and 100 back are back-to-back events with the diving break in between, Montgomery doesn’t get as much rest time as a lot of the other swimmers, but said she had adjusted to that schedule.
“It’s going to be super difficult (at Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional) with the 50 free and 100 fly,” Montgomery said. “Last year I swam the 100 back, and right after that is the 200 free relay, so I’ve dealt with it before.”
During her summers, Montgomery practices and competes with the swim club at the Shields Park pool.
She said swimming in the high school and park pools are a lot different.
“The long course (50 yards) you have to get used to distance,” Montgomery said. “The short course (25 yards) you have to get really good at walls and flip turns. I think learning how to sprint is more important in the summer seasons because we don’t have as many walls.”
The longest practices for the high school the season occur during the holiday break with the longest being the day they swim 100 100s.
“It’s like five miles,” Montgomery said with a laugh. “It seems like it takes forever.”
The Owls practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, beginning at 6 a.m.
“You have to be super dedicated to the sports to want to get up at that time,” Montgomery said. “I enjoy practice a lot because I get to hang out with my friends. It’s a relief from the rest of the day. Working out helps me release some of the stress from school.”
Montgomery said preparation before a meet is important.
“You have to get hyped for your races, and if it’s an away meet you have to get familiar with the pool,” she said. “Learn the flip turns and the area.”
Name: Sarah Montgomery
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Martha and Doug Montgomery
Siblings: David, Sam, Jon, Paul
Sports: swimming 4 years, soccer 3 years
Athletic highlights: swimming: 2015 state qualifier with relay team, school records 200 free relay and 200 medley relay; senior state qualifier junior year
Organizations: National Honor Society, First Baptist Youth Group, Biology Club, Environmental Club
Plans after high school: attend college to become a veterinarian
Favorite food: pasta
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite singer: Twenty One Pilots
Favorite movies: Forrest Gump