CEDAR RAPIDS — “Attack ... attack ... attack!”
That motivational phrase sends the Cedar Rapids Kennedy boys’ swimming team into dual meets every week.
The Cougars another, less intense, tradition they carry on from year-to-year — the annual doughnut relays.
Donut relays are a friendly competition between the Kennedy and Dubuque Hempstead swim teams.
“... you swim a 25 (yard freestyle) and get out, then eat a doughnut and swim back. There’s six swimmers per team,” Kennedy junior Zach Johansen said.
These relays are a way for the athletes to compete in a fun way and to sneak in a treat outside of their usual, healthy diet.
The more intense tradition takes place before weekly duals when Coach Shawn Thomsen and the team gather in the locker room.
“Our coach always gives us a huge pep talk before the meet and almost always ends with ‘attack ... attack ... attack!’” Kennedy senior Josh Winters said.
For most athletes, motivation from within and from other teammates is key. That motivation should be put into the form of energy for the team as a whole.
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“The energy is pretty strong,” Winters said. “I know that, for myself. I always look forward to the season in an unfinished business sort of mind-set.”
The Cougars, coming off a 131-39 loss to Iowa City West earlier this week, are off until hosting Linn-Mar on Jan. 4. They will compete until February when they will take care of their “unfinished business” with hopes to state meet success on Feb. 10.