• Jackson Ward

Kruegers impress on swim team

Swim veteran Lucas Krueger, junior, has been involved in swimming for most of his life, and is following in the footsteps of his older siblings. Krueger has had consistent success in his first two years of high school competition. In 2019, Krueger placed or medaled in three out of his four events. Krueger placed fifth in the 500 Freestyle, eighth in the 200 Freestyle, fifth in the 200 Medley Relay, and also placed ninth in the 400 Free Relay, but was one place short of medaling. 2020, Krueger medaled in all four of his events and helped the team place fourth overall. Individually, he placed fourth in the 500 Free, seventh in the 200 IM, fifth in the 200 Medley Relay, and sixth in the 400 Freestyle Relay. This year, Krueger looks to further improve individually and help the team place higher at state. The predictions for the season seem to be in Krueger’s favor as he was listed as the eighth best swimmer in Kansas from Varsity Kansas.

“I’m definitely going to work harder and push the rest of the team to place a little higher. Hopefully we’ll get top three this year, maybe get a trophy or plaque. Individually, I will keep working hard as well and work to get up to that top three,” Krueger said.

Krueger found inspiration from his siblings, all swimmers as well. Last season and this

season, Krueger swam alongside his younger brother, Noah, in their relays. This has helped him stay competitive and committed to the sport.

“It has helped me because my older brothers have always pushed me and I’ve always wanted to be faster than them, so I work to be better than they are,” Krueger said.

The swim culture and the commitment around the sport is extremely intense. To succeed in swimming and create a possibility to swim in college or another higher level, it takes high intensity and consistent cardio. Krueger is a club swimmer, which means his routine is even more difficult than a high school swimmer who only practices with the school.

“As a swimmer, I practice Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings before school for an hour and a half starting around 5:20-5:30 AM. After practice, I go to school, then I go to practice after school which is everyday Monday through Friday for two hours. Then we [club swimmers] have one last three hour practice on Saturday morning to finish off the week,” Krueger said. “With all the

practice I get in as a swimmer, I have to make sure I am getting enough sleep or the lack of energy will catch up with me in the pool.”

With this much practice and an enduring schedule, some wonder how this sport could be widely enjoyable. Krueger thinks otherwise and says that it is all worth it.

“I would have to say the atmosphere and the friends and the people around me make it the most enjoyable. However, there is no feeling like putting on a tech suit after a week of taper [an easy week before a big meet], and swimming times you didn’t expect to reach,” Krueger said. “My

mindset has become more developed and better throughout the years of swimming, but I have done it so much for so long that it has become a huge part of my life.”

The future for Krueger’s swimming career is more than promising and has only scratched the surface of his potential.

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