Swimmers: hardest working athletes in Hamilton High?

The girls showed off their hard work at the Grand Rapids Christian meet.

For sophomore Lizzie Goodman, being a member of the Hamilton girls swim team means she must wake up at 4:30 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, to be in the pool by 5:45 for her team’s morning practice.

“As a smaller school we need to work hard to compete with the big schools,” Coach Talsma said. As a result, the girls are swimming almost every minute of their waking lives.

Even after an hour-and-fifteen-minute morning workout, the team will still be back in the pool at the end of the school day.

Their afternoon practice is two and a half hours long, consisting of lap after lap in the pool, followed by dry-land workouts.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are meet days, when the team competes against swimmers from other schools. On Saturdays, the girls find themselves in the pool again for their last training session of the week.

When asked if all of the hard work was worth it, Erica Ruffner, a senior on the team, did not hesitate to reply.

“Every second,” she said.

“We just need to put together solid, focused practice efforts in order to hang in there and compete,” Coach Talsma said. “So far we have been doing a pretty good job.

Richelle Terpstra, a senior on the team, said the team’s greatest accomplishment so far this season has been “creating a better family kind of environment.”

“We have a tough schedule and a tough conference this year,” Talsma said. “If we can get through our dual meets with the state cuts that we need to get and compete well we’ll be happy. We need to stay positive and tough.”

So, what goal is the team working so hard for?

“Our overall goal is to swim fast when it counts and to learn from our mistakes,” Coach Talsma explained. “A top 5 finish at the state meet would be our ultimate goal.”



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