Retrieved from Lincoln Beacon: http://lincolnbeacon.com/lincolns-simpson-qualifies-for-sections
Like a fish in water, swimmers have to be one with their surroundings.
For Lincoln sophomore Mackenzie Simpson, she used her amphibian-like skills to be one with the pool to become the first Lincoln female swimmer to qualify for section finals in the program’s third season of existence.
“I’m so excited. I’ve been working all year for this and to finally get it, it’s just amazing,” Simpson said about being able to compete in the breaststroke representing Lincoln.
Since kindergarten, when she swam regularly at McBean pool, Simpson has been working on her trade and various places including the Rocklin Wave Team and Zenon USA Team.
“When I first started with the Rocklin Wave swim team I was really nervous because I’ve ever been on a (recreation) team before. So starting out was kind of scary,” said Simpson. “We did a lot of workouts. Mostly sprints and not really distance swimming.”
Once she got to the Zenon, Simpson built on the foundation that she acquired from the Rocklin Wave.
“When the new USA team got started up, I figured that was a good point to do more distance for me. So I decided that I can get much better from going to USA from starting at rec,” said Simpson.
The Zenon team provided larger meets, swimming in long and short races and longer practices.
“Last year it was a little difficult because I was swimming for high school and for USA so I spent most of my time at Zenon, which was preparing me better for the meets at Lincoln. But this year, I’ve been doing a lot more Lincoln swimming.”
Last year, as a freshman, Simpson came within two seconds of making sections. This year, focusing on more high school swimming, she noticed an improvement on her breaststroke.
“From last year, I’ve improved two seconds in breaststroke, which doesn’t sound like a lot,” said Simpson. “But for 100 yards of breaststroke, that is a lot for me.”
Her goal for sections is to get to 1:17 in the breaststroke, which would qualify her for sections next year as a junior.
But regardless if she makes that mark or not, her goal is to always improve her time.
“I’ll keep wanting to go lower and lower, go as low as I can possibly can,” said Simpson. “I remember my Zenon coach (Junior) told me, ‘my goal for you is to be at a 1:04 by senior year.'”
As she looks forward to competing in sections in Lodi, Mackenzie reflects on her accomplishment. “I hope not to be just remembered as the first girl who made sections for Lincoln High, but I hope to be remembered as an optimistic person who cheered on her teammates who was happy when other people got times.”