Sophomore Hayden Hollingsworth talks about varsity swimming and “The Vampire Diaries.”
BY MATTHEW DORON ’23
Q: How has your experience been for you, being a freshman and now a sophomore competing on a varsity team?
A: It was a little hard at first, but I feel like now, it’s come to where I don’t feel like I have to put as much pressure on myself. I feel like since I’ve known these girls for a long time, I’m more comfortable in a way now, but last year, I remember I was just telling myself, “Don’t say anything, keep your mouth shut, just let the process go and see how it goes.” So I feel like now, I can have a little bit of a voice.
Q: So, how has it been so far, both freshman and sophomore year, in regards to competitions and your personal performance?
A: I feel like I’ve improved a lot [since last year]. I try to put the most amount of hours in my training as possible, and I feel like there’s a significant difference from this year to last. I have won a lot of things for swimming, but… I feel like, just the way my training’s gone, it’s shown. The amount of hours you put in is what you’ll receive when you get out of that water.
Q: How do you feel your team has been doing overall this season and for what’s remaining of the season?
A: I feel like we’ve been doing really well. There are some amazing athletes on our team. For the rest of the season, we’re going to keep an open mind and see what we can do, but I know we’ll be able to accomplish amazing things.
Q: What are your personal aspirations? What do you think the future will look like for the next two years of your high school career in terms of athletics?
A: This is a [very] far goal, but I would love to go to the Olympics; that’s my biggest dream for swimming and I’ve known that since I first jumped in the water. That’s an amazing goal I would like to do, but probably just, I know I want to swim in college. [For now], I would really, really like to win a state championship as a team and win an individual event at states. That would just be amazing and that would just make me so happy.
Q: You said you’ve been swimming since you were five, what keeps you coming back?
A: I think what makes me want to come back more is my friends that are on the team. I just feel like we have such a good, strong bond with our team and I don’t know what I would do without them and probably if they weren’t swimming, maybe I wouldn’t be swimming. I love the sport so much that I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t do it.
Q: What is your favorite memory from being on the swim team?
A: When the team is all together. All of my favorite memories are right there because they are the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. Before, during and after practice, it’s just so funny and they say stuff that makes me crack up laughing all the time and those are probably my favorite memories.
Q: What is your favorite album, movie, television show, or book?
A: I love “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Hunger Games.” I have not read “The Hunger Games” books, but the movies are really good.