Owls swimmer enjoys variety


Molly Hayes says one of the things she likes about swimming in high school is the variety of strokes in which athletes can participate.

On Wednesday night at the Hoosier Hills Conference meet at Columbus East, Hayes will swim the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly, and she also will swim the medley and 200 free relays for Seymour.

“I swam the 500 free my freshman and sophomore years,” Hayes said. “I used to do distance, but I’ve always liked sprints more. Swimming is a very good stress reliever for me. Whenever I’ve had a bad day, it’s nice to be able to exercise, and swimming is a very intense workout.

“It’s been really cool getting to know the people on the team. I’ve made a lot to friends through the swim team. I’ve met some really great people, and I’ve learned a lot about dedication and hard work, and it shaped who I am as a person.”

The breaststroke is her favorite individual event.

“I’ve been doing the breaststroke ever since I was a kid,” Hayes said. “That’s kind of been my main stroke, but I only started swimming it in high school my junior year because more spots opened up, and I was able to swim that at conference and sectional.”

She made the finals in the breaststroke in the sectional last year and placed sixth with a 1:14.

Hayes said her best time in the 100 butterfly is 1:13.

The senior swims in the 200 medley and 200 free relays. She will swim the butterfly in the medley relay and said she hopes to break 30 seconds in her leg of the race. She said she likes that she only has to swim 50 yards in each of her relay races.

She said warmups before the meet are important to her.

“I try to swim my events during warmup, and I work on my turns a lot, especially in the breaststroke because the turns are different from the freestyle turns,” Hayes said. “When you do the breaststroke or butterfly, you touch then you go, whereas when you do a freestyle, when you turn, you actually flip.”

Hayes said the swimmers look forward to the taper, which the girls started last week. As they cut back on the amount of yardage they swim during practice, they gain strength, and they improve their times.

“Practice is very important,” Hayes said. “Practice is where you make those habits that are going to help you be better in the meets. You have to practice the small stuff, like your turns and your breakouts and things like that. If you focus on that during practice, I think it helps you ultimately in the meets.”

She said you have to have a positive outlook in any sport in which you participate.

“I feel like if you go into an event feeling negative about it, then it’s going to impact your performance in a negative way, so it’s really important to have a positive attitude and have confidence that you’re going to do well,” Hayes said. “If you believe that you’re going to do well, I think that kind of bleeds into your performance.”

On the schedule, Hayes always looks forward to the sectional.

“I love sectional,” Hayes said. “There’s always such good energy at sectional. Everybody is always pumped up and cheers each other on. It’s great, positive energy, so it’s cool to be part of that.

“I want to place top eight in the 100 breast. I just want to drop time off my sectional time from last year. I can’t slack off. I need to keep working hard when it’s required. I’d like to help get a relay team to state. That would be a cool experience.”

Hayes said she likes the big multi-team meets over the dual meets.

“I think those are more positive and more into cheering each other on,” she said.

The Seymour swimmers have practices three days each week before school.

“It’s pretty difficult getting up in the morning, I’m not going to lie, but it’s one of those things it teaches you life skills because you might have to wake up early for work, so it’s a life skill that you can transfer into the real world, and you have to have that dedication and that routine. And you have to push through the difficulties,” Hayes said.

She has also spent a lot of time during the summers swimming at the Shields Park Pool, and said she enjoyed competing in home invitational.

Hayes said she attended Immanuel Lutheran School before attending Seymour.

“Seymour was a very big jump, but it was actually nice because there’s so many more people and different types of people that you can become friends with,” she said.


Hayes file

Name: Molly Hayes

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Craig and Shelba Hayes

Sibling: Allison

Sports: Swimming, four years

Athletic highlights: Sixth in the 100 breaststroke at the 2017 sectional

Organizations: National Honor Society, D.A.R.E. role model, band

Plans after high school: Attend Miami University and study English

Favorite TV show: “Game Of Thrones”

Favorite musicians: Twenty One Pilots

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