Swim school

By Katie Miles

Arizona Daily Wildcat

When people think of Abe Wick, they may not connect him to swimming right away.

Even though he says that he is "wet behind the ears" as far as experience goes, Wick may not be well known to many people, but he is definitely giving some tough competition to other Pacific 10 Conference opponents.

In comparison to some of his teammates, Wick does not have the amount of experience that qualifies him as a professional in the field of swimming.

"I started swimming in eighth grade with the U.S. swim team and I stayed with that until 12th grade," Wick said. "A lot of people on the team have been swimming since they were six years old or around something like that. I am in the stage where I can not take the excuse where I am wet behind the ears, but I do not have enough experience to be considered an old-timer in the sport. I have grown to really love the sport."

Not only has swimming been a sport for Wick, but it has also taught him some lessons that he has taken over into his life.

"Discipline is something that I have learned in college swimming," Wick said. "I did not really have too much determination or (desire) to do well in high school. When I came here, I had to get into the routine of showing up to every workout and learning to train really hard. When you compete in the Pac-10 conference, you have to train hard every day and give it your all in every competition."

Swimming is not the only thing that Wick concentrates on. He is currently majoring in molecular/cellular biology, but is planning to major only in regular biology.

"I have probably changed my major about 12 different times," he said.

School is important to the swimming coaches, but there are times when this talented sophomore finds it hard to juggle the demands of his major and all of the courses that he has to take along with the pressure of competing in the nation's toughest conference.

"That is one reason that I want to major in biology, but it is hard because I am either at practice or I am traveling on the road to a meet," he said. "I wanted to go into genetics after school. That is why I have been taking molecular and cellular (biology) courses."

Wick has a very positive outlook on how the team will perform in the NCAAs that are in a few weeks.

"We are out to kick some butt this year," Wick said. "Oliver Lampe is out to rock the competition in the 200 butterfly. I think that he can because he came out and swam an incredible race over this past weekend. Carvin, as usual, is going to put some fear into the competition because he is going to win everything he enters. We have a strong 4 by 50 and individual medley relay teams. Robert Abernathy and Mike Clark are fired and ready to rock the competiton. I think the team is going to do really well."

How does Wick think he will do in the NCAA's?

"I would like to break my time of 20.49 in the 50 free," he said. "I think that if I could reach 19 seconds, that I could probably break into the finals and if I could do that then I would be very happy. Almost estatic."

To Wick, college and high school swimming are two worlds apart.

"I did not care how I did in high school," he said. "I did not show up to practice that much . It just did not seem that important to me. In college, training is crucial and the competition is highly intense. It is not as laid-back as high school is. College swimming is also a lot more fun than high school is anyway."

So where does he see himself in 10 years?

"Hopefully, by then I have won the lottery and will be living on some tropical island," he said. "If I cannot get that, then I suppose I will work and do something in the future."

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