Gleason dives into the season head first
The Golden Eagle swimming and diving teams have been performing unexpectedly well this season with the men’s team going 2-2 and the women’s team going 3-1. Swimmer Jenna Gleason has shown a lot of growth since last year’s season and has been enjoying her sophomore year on the team.
The growth in the team and the growth Gleason has seen personally have been great encouragements for her and validated all the work she and the team put in last season.
“Last year we were really just frustrated and disappointed with how our season was going because we were working so hard and the results were not really showing it,” Gleason said.
It was difficult for the whole team, they were putting in the work but due to the small number of members of the team they were not able to do much in competition. That all paid off this year now that they are regularly winning matches.
“I was coming right out of high school and onto this team, couldn’t get a win, we worked so hard and just couldn’t be successful,” Gleason said. “So I think this year, when we finally proved we could do it, it was kind of like a breath of fresh air.”
The training has paid off for Gleason personally as well. All through high school she wanted to make the state cut for the 50 freestyle but in her senior year she fell short of the time needed by one tenth of a second. On the first day of the Fredonia Blue Devil Invitational meet on December 1, she set a personal best in the event.
This progress has come because of the intense training Head Coach Jason Morini puts the swimmers through. As a nursing major, Gleason is staying busy and has had to balance swimming and studying while improving and learning in both. Students need to apply to the nursing program in their sophomore year and with such a competitive nursing field at Brockport there is a lot of pressure to work as hard as possible.
Gleason’s days consist of working on homework between classes, practices and training, consistently jumping around between academics and athletics. Despite the large time commitment of being on the team, Gleason can’t imagine when she would be without it.
“I think I would be bored out of my mind,” Gleason said.
Gleason not only enjoys the swimming and competing aspect of being on the team, she loves the team itself and all the people she swims and trains with. Though she was close with her high school swim team, Gleason says her team now is as close as a family.
“I’ve never felt closer to a group of people, ever,” Gleason said. “If I had to swim practices by myself and had to go to meets by myself, I wouldn’t do it.”
The company of her teammates helps Gleason cope with the physical, emotional and mental strain of doing three-day long invitational meets against a bunch of teams. She depends on her team to help her stay in a good mindset and to be positive influences on her everyday life.
“The people that I surround myself with every day on my team bring my attitude up, they bring my motivation up,” Gleason said.
Her teammates are her encouragement throughout stressful weeks and her friends through the weekends. She brings the same encouragement and friendship to the rest of the team as well.
“She is a good team leader, she keeps the team lively, she always has a smile on her face,” senior swimmer Mary Jane Leja said.
She has goals to set personal bests for all her times and be a part of winning a relay event in SUNYACs. Gleason has high hopes for the rest of the season and looking at the progress she has made since her first season last year, she has a lot of development still to come.
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