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Marin Bauer switches from soccer to swim

While swimming freestyle during practice on Thurs April  26, Bauer takes a breath before continuing to finish the yard. Photo by Marley Sky

While swimming freestyle during practice on Thurs April 26, Bauer takes a breath before continuing to finish the yard. Photo by Marley Sky

While swimming freestyle during practice on Thurs April 26, Bauer takes a breath before continuing to finish the yard. Photo by Marley Sky

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After having to stop playing soccer in freshman year due to a torn ligament in her leg, Marin Bauer joined the women’s JV swim team to get back in the game. Inspired to join swim by her friends Ava Jueng, Joy Jeung, Niki Morgan and Sara Strandberg, Bauer took this opportunity to prove to herself she is more than just a soccer player.


“My four best friends swim, so I felt like it was really encouraging, especially since I had to quit soccer freshman year due to an injury. I wanted to do something that would keep me athletic,” Bauer said.


Transitioning from a soccer environment has not been easy. Adapting to the independent, in-for-yourself atmosphere was a difficult adjustment for Bauer.


“I was terrified [at my first meet]. I started crying because I found out I was put into a race I didn’t know I was swimming until minutes before. I felt like I was going to throw up. It was the most scary thing in my life. It’s a new environment. You’re swimming for yourself, but you’re also swimming for a team. I have always only known you do things as a unit, but this time you are doing things as a an individual person, so it was very different compared to soccer,” Bauer said.


In the beginning, swim was a struggle rather than an outlet for Bauer. Every day, she would do a 200 freestyle for warm-up, sprint and start sets equalling to around 5,000 yards, work on arms and technique, until ending on a cooldown.


“Probably like her first or second day of practice when all we had done was the warm-up, she was exhausted, and I understood and felt her pain because every time you start a new season of swim you suddenly realize how hard this sport is. It’s a total physical body workout and it’s very easy to get out of shape in swimming, but you got to keep getting back into shape,” Coach Kari Ustaszewski said.

In the 100-yard freestyle for women’s-JV, Bauer races against five others to improve her time.


Through the fear and hardships, Bauer has worked to continue to improve. Her efforts have also been noticed by her friends and by her coach.


“I like new swimmers that are courageous to go out and try out something they’ve never done before. To go out for a sport that she has never really had any training on, that’s definitely brave. Marin has gotten faster. She has improved her short course as well as her stamina for her distance and her stroke has improved in its overall look,” Ustaszewski said.


Swim has not only taught Bauer new skills, but has built a stronger sense of confidence and self. With these, Bauer has seen her friends rally beside her and the support from her family, which has been driving force in advancing Bauer’s swim experience.


“The first swim meet I swam my 50-free and all four of my best friends were standing back and they were just so proud of me. That was the best moment of my life so far in swim because I realized I do have people who are supporting me; I found out that I’m a lot more independent. Even though I’m on a team, I don’t have to worry about making sure I get the right passes to someone else, I just have to worry about me. I feel that is really important and it’s brought me into a more of who I am now. It’s another reason of maybe why I pushed myself to run for Voice. Because I am more independent and I don’t need to worry about other people’s views,” Bauer said.


Bauer has not only discovered well of support her family and friends offer, but also her own personal strengths and morals. She may have joined late, but her perseverance allowed her to pursue her goals.



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Marin Bauer switches from soccer to swim