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Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

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Haley Schrader is a sophomore at Free State and is a designer for Free State journalism. She is on the girls swim team and she enjoys traveling, baking, and hanging out with friends and family.

SPORTS: Competitions Overlap

Rule disallows athletes from double committing to school and club sports
Photo+collected+by+Lucy+Velte.
Photo collected by Lucy Velte.

In the realm of high school sports, competition is what brings athletes together to showcase their skills and hard work in a driven environment. While most high school athletes tend to compete with their respective schools according to data collected by the NCAA, a choice between competing for their club or school team is a card in their deck. 

Lawrence swimmer and freshman Lucy Velte is a current competitive swimmer for the Empire KC Swim Club based in Lee Summit, Missouri. She was part of Free State’s swim and dive program for only a week and had to leave the team due to her participation in club swimming. 

According to a rule imposed by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, athletes are not allowed to compete for their non-school team during the particular sport’s athletic season. A student-athlete may only participate in their non-school team if the non-school athletic program is under the jurisdiction of and sanctioned by the national governing body of the sport, and if the student-athlete is in good standing with the school’s athletic governing rule regarding ordinary in-school participation. 

A failure to meet these exceptions will result in not being able to participate in both the school and competitive club teams simultaneously. 

During her only competition with the school’s team, Velte was able to break the school record for the 200-meter individual Medley; however, due to her situation, the record could not be held. 

Given the circumstance, Velte found herself having to choose between competing for a club or school team. She acknowledged the issue of what kind of practices and meets competitive swimmers can participate in school, but she thinks the ruling should be more compliant towards club swimmers. 

“You should be able to practice with your club and maybe do a couple of high school practices a week,” Velte said. 

She expressed the importance of having the club experience when it comes to competitive sports. Velte also thinks that varying with competition and training intensity allows for more opportunities thus what led her to the decision to continue with club swimming over in-school was the option to go up against tougher and faster competition. 

“For people who just want to have fun, swim and have a good time, high school is definitely what you should do,” Velte said. 

Velte began her competitive journey when she was seven years old and ever since, she has been continuously breaking records for her respective age group at the club level. Last year, 14 year old Velte broke the Missouri Valley record in the 100 meter freestyle with a time of 50.49 seconds. 

With her goal of improving herself in long-course swimming, Velte felt that club swimming was the right choice to move forward in her career. Despite her situation, she intends to move forward and keep her head up for the rest of her competitive season. 

She plans to continuously push herself and hopes that her efforts will help her reach the college level someday.

About the Contributor
Rakshan Ossen
Rakshan Ossen, Reporter
Rakshan Ossen is a sophomore at Free State and is a reporter for FSJ. He devotes himself to the Free State community by being involved with many clubs at school. Outside of his academic life, he finds himself being an enthusiast in Formula 1 Racing, playing sports and taking architectural photography.
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