In her three years on the Seymour swimming team, Arielle Skinner has swum different events each season.
Last winter, during a meet late in the season, Skinner swam the 100 backstroke. And this season, it has become her main individual event.
This winter, she has also swum the 100 butterfly, and she swims either the back or fly in the 200 medley relay.
“Probably the 100 back,” she said when asked about her favorite event. “I feel it’s a little bit less stressful. I can see people’s faces. I know when the coaches say, ‘Hey, there is someone next to you. You need to go faster.’”
During races, Skinner can hear and see teammates and coaches along the side of the pool encouraging her.
Skinner said she works on the different parts of her races in warmups before the meets.
She said she has to be mentally and physically ready to go if she swims the backstroke in the medley relay since she is the first one in the water.
“(Relays) are a lot easier because you’re like, ‘OK, this is just one part,'” Skinner said. “You’re not going to mess it up to much. I like the energy from the other girls. They’re like, ‘Come on let’s go,’ and we get each other pumped up before we jump in, and you know your teammates are depending on you.”
Skinner said her second event is normally after the diving break, so she has plenty of time to recover from her first race.
“I like my breaks, and normally, it’s all at the end of the meet,” she said. “It’s one event, and then I get two off and then another event. Sometimes, I’m sitting there for 20 minutes.”
Skinner admits practices are hard at Seymour.
“I’ve never liked practice, but I love my team,” she said. “At the end of the day, I’m glad I went (to practice), and I’ll regret it if I don’t.
“I really don’t enjoy the taper because it doesn’t push me to my limits. I like to work harder, and I like to get harder sets. They’re trying to make us recover now.”
On the schedule, Skinner always looked forward to the home meets.
“(Home meets) were really enjoyable to me because I enjoyed our crowd, the energy,” Skinner said. “My teammates were always there. It made me feel important knowing they were screaming for me in the pool.”
Skinner said she likes the big meets and is looking forward to the sectional.
She said she will swim the 100 back at sectional and is hoping to take time off her career-best time of 1:15.
Swimming has been a perfect fit for Skinner.
“I’m so happy I chose swimming (at Seymour),” Skinner said. “I just like the connections and the friendships I’ve made. I know that no matter what, the girls are cheering for you. I like the competition part of it, too. I like to compete. I like to try to be faster than everybody else and push myself to my limits.”
Name: Arielle Skinner
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Donnie Skinner, Julie Otte
Siblings: Chandler, Trinity, Skylar
Sports: Swimming, three years
Plans after high school: Attend college and study nursing
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite TV show: “Friends”
Favorite singer: Bastille
Favorite movie: “The Great Gatsby”
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps