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People of Pace: James Tracey

Cassi Bennett, Copy Editor

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James Tracey began swimming at the young age of six. Since first discovering his talent for it, Tracey has excelled in every event he swims. “I swim about four events each meet. The free, 500 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay,” Tracey said. With meets typically occurring at the end of a school day, it takes preparation throughout for Tracey to get his mindset ready. “I prepare for the meet day just by focusing on school until fifth period, then my mindset starts to go to how I’m feeling and how my body is doing and I go from there. If I’m a bit sore, I might stretch more before warm-ups and before a race. If I’m a bit tired or groggy, I might take Gatorade bites so that will give me a boost. I just play it by ear depending on how I’m doing,” Tracey said. With his mind set on success, Tracey can also focus on how he is going to be there for each of his teammates. “I encourage my teammates by just slapping them on the back and saying ‘good job’ or just pumping them up by saying ‘you got this’. Sometimes before they dive in, I just like to tell them ‘hey you’re doing good!’,” Tracey said.

Unlike most of his team, Tracey chooses not to swim during team practices. “I usually don’t swim at practice because it’s difficult for me, so I try to encourage people instead. I’m kind of like a third swim coach, so I enforce what the coaches are saying and I help out. Like, most times I will time all of the guys, correct their strokes, and help tweak them a bit,” Tracey said. With so much investment in the sport, Tracey enjoys the team spirit aspect of meets. “I kind of like meets in general, but I find myself smiling a lot when I see others participating and really doing well. It really makes me happy to see others cheering on others on the other side of the lane right before they get up. I really like the team spirit and energy we have during a meet,” Tracey said.

Tracey has seen lots of success throughout his high school career. With a school record under his belt, Tracey hopes to take another. “I was a bit disappointed this year because I broke the 200 free record on a much later date than I thought I would be able to get it, but I got it now and I’m pretty happy about it. I’m trying to break a few more as well,” Tracey said. Now, Tracey has the state competition in his sights. “I’m not nervous right now about states because I’m just trying to focus on everything step by step: districts, regionals, then states,” Tracey said. This is Tracey’s third year qualifying for state, and it’s guaranteed that he will be a top competitor.

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People of Pace: James Tracey