The Pennant

Boys Swimming: Getting to Know Connor Craig

Connor Craig is a Junior at Penn High School. He swims competitively for the Penn Swim Team and the Irish Aquatics Club team. He is a three-time all-conference selection and a State Finalist.

How do you improve?:  Maintaining a consistent practice schedule and diet are personal ways I work on getting better. Outside forces such as the work environment and who I surround myself around also play an important role, because those are what essentially push you to work as well.

What do you focus on in practice?: Focusing on technique and form are things I have to constantly give my attention to, because without them I lose a lot of efficiency in the water.

How do you identify what you need to focus on?: Mentally checking in on myself with what I’m able to improve on helps me figure out what I need to work on personally, whether it be race strategy or something as simple as stretching.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in swimming?: A school record in the 200 medley relay; I won’t ever forget the feeling of standing on the podium with my teammates getting a fourth place medal at the state meet.

Swimming is technically a team sport, how would you say your teammates affect you and what are the advantages or disadvantages of having a “team mentality”: Generally having a team to back you up is possibly one of the most important parts of any sport at all. My teammates always support each other and we collectively get into the right mindset together, but sometimes one bad attitude can bring us all down. That’s where we have to move forward together as a unit to grasp some sort of positive morality.

What do you do before a race?: I always stretch a bit to loosen up, blast music in my headphones and think about my race strategy.

Is your swimsuit uncomfortable?: It really depends. Our practice suits that we wear every day and at small meets are surprisingly comfortable, much more comfortable than knee-length suits. However, once competition season rolls around, we wear expensive racing suits that are so tight we sometimes end up with cut off circulation or welts after we take them off.

Do your friends get frustrated with you having basically a year-round season?: I bet you can understand this one the most. Of course they get frustrated. My least favorite thing to ever say is “sorry, I’ve got practice tomorrow.” Possibly the lamest phrase I’ve ever heard come out of my own mouth.

What first got you interested in swimming?: I’ve basically been a self-taught swimmer since my toddler years. My grandparents owned a house with a pool before they moved to South Bend, and I would force my parents, grandparents, or aunts/uncles to take me outside to the pool so I could be in the water. I never wanted to get out. 

Are you the best swimmer at Penn High School and if not who would you say is?: We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but I don’t think I’m the best athlete on our team. And I don’t think of anyone else as better than whomever. We are all one collective unit, and together, with all of our strengths and weaknesses combined, we are one of the best teams at Penn. By far.