First-year swimmer Tommy Hackley finished fifth in the 1500-freestyle in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships. His 1000-yard split of 9:38:97 was a school record. He is this week’s Tiger of the Week.
TDP) You finished fifth in the 1500-yd freestyle and set a school record in the 1000-yd split with the time of 9:38.97. What allowed you to be so effective?
TH) Being at a big meet and standing behind the blocks, I start to think about all of the work that I have put into the event I am about to swim. I think about all of the early mornings I have sacrificed, and I think about the countless yards I have swam just to get to that one swim meet. So after thinking about all of this, I remind myself that I have done the work and now it is time to show everybody, including myself, what I can do.
TDP) What are your goals for the remainder of the year? Individually and as a team?
TH) As a team in the offseason, we are going to try to stay in shape until next season as best as we can. Right now, considering we have been swimming for months without rest, a lot of us are taking a short break from the water, but no more than one or two weeks. And individually, I am going to try to focus more on weightlifting. Most distance swimmers tend to be skinny and lengthy, and I am working on a personal weight program with my coach to try to get a slight advantage over my competition.
TDP) What made you fall in love with swimming?
TH) I fell in love with swimming because of my friends back in middle school, but as the workload of high school started to pick up, I really liked going to practice every day after school. It provided a tranquil break from the everyday stresses of being a student, and it was a time where I could just be with my friends and be a part of a team.
TDP) Did you always know you were going to swim in college?
TH) No, I did not always know I wanted to swim in college but I really wanted to. When I was looking at schools, I was looking to get an education first and the swimming part came after. I will always remember my mother saying, “Pick the school, not the pool.” DePauw is a really good fit for me because of the great academic and athletic opportunities.
TDP) Do you try to model your game after any swimmer?
TH) I did not try to model my game after any professional athlete in particular but seeing the seniors and upperclassmen on the team really helped motivate me to work hard every day and try to be my best self in and out of the pool.