Cougar of the Week: Gaby Jijon-Nemalceff

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Name: Gaby Jijon-Nemalceff
Year: Junior
Home: Quito, Ecuador
Sport: Swimming

Q. How long have you been swimming? What made you start swimming?

A. Since I was five. I first started because my mom wanted me to learn how to swim.

Q. How has this swim season been going for you personally? How does it compare with other seasons?

A. It’s been awesome. I feel like I know more about teamwork and how training at Clark is. In general, I think it’s been better than past seasons. I feel like I’m more a part of the team now.

Q. What events do you compete in and which is your favorite?

A. I normally compete in the 50 yard Freestyle and 200 yard Freestyle. I prefer the 200 because it’s not too short and you have a chance to come back when you’re behind. You have time to strategize and pace yourself.

Q. What is the attitude on the team like at this point in the season? What are you doing to get ready for the NEWMAC Championships, which start on February 15th?

A. Everybody has trained really hard and prepared themselves all season. We are mentally preparing right now. Next week, we begin tapering (swimming less) so we can prepare our bodies for competition. There is a lot of positive energy and we are looking forward to NEWMACS.

Q. What do you do before competing to keep yourself composed and focused?

A. I try not to think too much about the race. I stay with my team and support everybody else while they’re competing. I try to stay relaxed in preparation for my races. Also, I train as hard as I can throughout the season because if I know that I have trained, I feel more comfortable approaching a meet.