Volume 94, Issue 65

Thursday, January 18, 2001


Ain't easy being a Lakehead

Rookie swimmer makes waves for UWO

Two self-centered stars - Kobe and Shaq are shameful

Rookie swimmer makes waves for UWO

By Kasia Iglinski
Gazette Staff

When asked to describe rookie Mustang Carmen Barnett in one word, swim team head coach, Glen Belfry, said he views his promising athlete as "optimistic".

"Carmen always maintains a positive outlook on things, whether they pertain to swimming or academics. Her optimism is certainly very encouraging," he said.

Barnett, in her first year of science scholars electives, is a welcome addition to Western's swim team, according to both her coach and her teammates Belfry said.

Contrary to the popular belief that coping with both sports and academics is an impossibility, Barnett has managed to prove otherwise. In fact, she said when she is not swimming, she finds herself more behind in her classes and more disorganized. Barnett said that she has learned the importance of managing her time due to the amount of time swim practices take up.

Sarah Teetzel, a fellow swim team member, said that she feels Barnett is a strongly motivated individual.

"Her leadership skills force us all to try our hardest. Carmen and I train together in the same lane, so we are always doing the same sets. She certainly carries her encouraging attitude into the pool."

According to Belfry, Barnett's strongest strokes are the butterfly and the freestyle, and she has worked particularly hard this year to improve both her technique and speed in each of these events. Her competitive nature and willingness to learn are important characteristics in both her scholastic and swimming endeavours.

Belfry noted Barnett exemplifies how believing in yourself can result in success. He said she has worked hard this year on her butterfly stroke, noting that her improvements are certainly visible.

"Carmen has a lot of confidence in herself and in her swimming. She always tries her best, which is great from a coach's perspective. The best part about being a coach is when you give a person feedback and you can see that he/she has actually listened to what you have said, which is exactly what Carmen does."

Barnett may be new to Western's swim team, but she is certainly not new to her sport. She started swimming at the Markham Aquatics Club at the age of eight, and loved it from the moment she started. She has been swimming for 11 years now, but took a year off during her Ontario Academic Credit year in high school.

"It was the Olympic trials, and I essentially had to make the choice between academics or swimming. I chose academics," she said.

Although some may have seen Carmen's year-off as a disadvantage to her swimming career, Belfry said he believes that she has made great progress this year.

"Carmen has become more confident in her swimming. We have a plan for both her personal swimming as well as a team plan, and Carmen believes in the plan. It has helped her improve both as an individual swimmer as well as part of the team."

If there was one message Barnett said she wanted her fans to know, it is to stop and smell the roses. "Remember to have fun in your sport. I lost sight of that for a couple of years, and that was another reason why I stopped. You have to remember to enjoy what you are doing, and the rest will come together."

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