Valparaiso High School swimmer Allie Lamberson has committed to Indiana University, but that doesn't mean the senior approaches her final prep season in a relaxed manner.
"I'm not backing off; Indiana is a big school," Lamberson said. "I still plan on working pretty hard. I'd like to get the (Valpo's) 50 and 100 free school record."
Lamberson said she's about a second away from the 50 mark (23.65) and about two seconds from the 100 (51.97).
Lamberson has qualified for the state meet all three preceding seasons. She made relays as a freshman and sophomore, then last year she placed 19th in the 50 and 24th in the 100.
"She is a nice tall young lady, has a very good kick and is someone we think will develop into a fine swimmer down the road," IU coach Ray Looze said in a recent news release.
At close to 6 feet tall, Lamberson has used her size to her advantage.
"Her height allows her to generate greater power with her stroke underwater," Valparaiso coach Pete Sattler said. "It also helps her with her turns and to out-touch (opponents)."
Lamberson doesn't just trust her size will be the difference in races. She's pretty tireless with her technique tweaks. Her favorite quote is, "Every practice missed is an opportunity lost."
"I'm kind of a perfectionist," she said. "I'll spend a whole practice kicking off the wall or lifting my elbow higher (on my stroke).
"I'm constantly asking my coaches about what I can fix."
Practices are different this season since longtime training partner Basia Niziolek graduated last spring. Niziolek came into practice a few days ago and outside of that appearance, Lamberson has had to push herself more this season.
"We were always neck and neck," Lamberson said. "I'm just focusing more on the clock this season.
"I'm just excited to be in the big races."
The Duneland Athletic Conference meet is more than three weeks away and the postseason begins in February. Lamberson looks forward to those competitions -- hoping to make the final round at state -- but she's also glad to have some time to prepare.
"I cannot waste time in the pool," she said. "The last couple of years at state, the times have some of the fastest in Indiana history.
"It's going to be really tough on me, but I just know I have to keep working hard."