Bingham swimmer setting the pace in the pool and out
Feb 11, 2020 01:24PM
● By Josh McFadden
Sara Wimmer, shown here doing the breaststroke, is a big reason for Bingham’s success in the pool this season. (Photo courtesy of Rachael Kankamp)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
High school swimming is a unique sport.
A swimmer’s performance will seemingly not affect what a teammate does in the next lane or in another event. In sports such as football, basketball or soccer, one player can’t succeed if others on the field or court aren’t doing their jobs. How well or how poorly a person swims on a given day should not impact a teammate’s time.
This doesn’t mean swimmers can’t encourage and inspire. Just ask Bingham’s Sara Wimmer.
Wimmer is spending her senior year not only trying to reach her personal goals by shaving off event times, but she’s trying to get the other swimmers to keep up.
“My most important roles are to lead and motivate and to keep a cohesive team,” she said. “I try to lead by example by going to all practices and finishing all the sets. This keeps the team positive and gives the team someone to follow.”
Wimmer’s specialties are the 200-meter individual medley (which combines the backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and butterfly) and the 100 breast. She’s one of the most talented swimmers on the squad and a competitor that head coach Rachael Kankamp looks to for strength and consistency. As a team leader, her impact is felt in the water and out of it.
The Class 6A field is packed with talent and experience. Competing against the top teams is a tall order. Wimmer said the objective should be for everyone to simply do his or her best and have as much representation at state as the team can get.
“This season has gone great so far and our team has been positive so far,” Wimmer said. “Personally, I want to qualify for state and swim the best I can at region and state. As a team I want us to work as hard as we can so we can all drop time at region and get as many qualifiers for state as possible.”
Swimming requires commitment and perseverance. Early morning practices can take their toll. Some people may prefer to stay in bed for a few more hours. The grueling season can weigh on a swimmer’s mind and body, too, but Wimmer said only a dedicated effort will help the team be successful.
“We need everyone to be at practice and swim as hard as they can and be positive,” she said.
Of course, being a part of the Bingham swim team is about much more than competing, winning races and improving times. As Wimmer’s high school career comes to an end, she reflects more on the relationships and memories she has made.
“The past four years have been the best four years of my life, and I will remember all the laughs we've had, memories I've made and all the hard practices we've gone through together as a team,” she said. “I enjoy swimming because of the friendships I've made and the life lessons I've learned from it. The best part about our team is how we are all so close, and when we have a hard practice, we can depend on each other to get through it.”
Just because her time as a Miner is almost over, it doesn’t mean Wimmer plans on hanging up the suit anytime soon.
“I'm going to keep swimming as much as I can because it's such a big part of my life,” she said.