The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 18, 2013

Women's swimming: Lessard finally makes it to big stage


Foley has also had hands-on experience with big meets and will be able to offer Lessard some words of advice.

Winning league titles with the men's and women's teams during his stay time Bucknell, Foley knows what it takes to be successful on bigger stages. As a coach at the Sunbury branch of the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA program, he has had swimmers attain success in YMCA Swimming and USA Swimming events, too.

"The biggest thing is, just swim within yourself. Don't get too hyped up over it," Foley said.

No breaks during spring break

Now that Lessard has been selected to swim at the NCAA Championships, she has more goals on her mind.

She hopes to finish in her event's Top 16; such a finish would make her an All-American, and, according to Lessard, the first Crusader to achieve that status. Lessard is seeded eighth on the unofficial psych sheet for the 200 fly.

"I would be honored to be the first one to do that, so that's my big goal," she said.

Reaching an All-American level takes work, and Lessard made sure she put in the necessary practice to prepare for nationals.

She decided to stay at Susquehanna for half of her spring break, rather than going home right away. When she left campus, Lessard said, her training still continued.

"I didn't really have a break. It's kind of hard, seeing all these people getting to go away and stuff, but I know that I need to do this to swim how I want to swim," she said.

Foley said that the additional training sessions on campus were beneficial for Lessard.

Practicing on her own, Lessard could focus specifically on her butterfly, which is not always the case in a team practice setting. She has also swam sets that worked on her splits and times in order to give her feedback on her swimming, Foley said.

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