For The Tribune

When Connie Li she decided to swim for the Seymour this past winter, her friends told her it would be hard for her, and once practices started she found out just how hard it is to stay in shape and improve your times.

This was the first year Li swam for the Owls, and Li is glad she jumped on board.

“Most of my friends swim and they encouraged me to do it, and they also told me it was really hard, but I decided to do it,” Li said. “It was very hard.

“Swim season started in October, but I would say it wasn’t until December that I got a feeling for it. It was so hard in the beginning. Even swimming down and back, which was a 50, was so hard on me.”

Li said her main events this winter were the 50 and 100 freestyles, and she also swam a leg in two of the relays each meet.

“I would say the individual 100 or the 400 relay were my favorites,” Li said.

She said when she arrived for a meet, “I would warm up very seriously, and then talk to my friends and just be calm. I remember my first meet, I was so nervous.

“I enjoyed the social part of it. Everyone is so encouraging. The food part, I liked that. We swimmers can eat so much and not gain that much weight. Food tastes so much better after practices.”

Swimmers practiced three times a week before school.

“I had a very hard time waking up early, but Dave (Boggs, head coach) makes it very clear that you have to be there on time,” Li said. “We had dry land in the mornings and water after school.”

Li enjoyed the home meets.

“I really like swimming in our pool,” she said. “We’re like a big family, we’re very supportive.”

She played tennis her freshman year and plans on playing this coming season.

“I’m going to play because of my friends, the social aspect and the team bonding,” Li said. “I like our home meets.”

Li, who is right-handed, said even though she didn’t play tennis the past two seasons she hit a lot with Grace Otte and Chloe Bryden, who will be senior members of the team.

Li played both some singles and doubles matches her freshman year.

“I like singles more,” Li said. “I like standing on the baseline. I don’t like to volleys. They are not my strength. I need to be very consistent.

She said in order to make the varsity line up, “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a positive attitude. Conditioning started this week. I need to work on my footwork.”

Li said you have to stay positive in all sports.

“It is very important stay positive, especially for someone like me, who just started swimming,” Li said. “It takes a lot of endurance. During a race I tell myself that I have to push through and finish. For some people that are trying to drop time, like me, finishing fast was very difficult.”

Li has attended school in Seymour since sixth grade.

“Everything (at Seymour) is very fun and social, and you’re still very productive,” Li said. “You can get a lot of things done. I feel very accomplished in my four years, and made a lot of good friends in all the things I’ve participated in.”

Li file

Name: Connie Li

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Xiaoing and Qing Li

Sibling: Hao

Sports: swimming 1 year, tennis 2 years

Athletic highlights: improving times

Organizations: band, National Honors Society, Latin Club

Plans after high school: attend Purdue for political science

Favorite food: chocolate milkshakes

Favorite TV show: Riverdale

Favorite singer: Taylor Swift

Favorite movies: Forrest Gump, The Parent Trap

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