December 12, 2012

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: Working hard at Conn. College

By Travis Lazarczyk
Staff Writer

Nico Schultz won't have much time to relax at home over his winter break from Connecticut College. The Waterville Senior High School graduate will head back to school on Dec. 27 to join the Camels swimming team on their training trip to Naples, Fla.

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College: Connecticut College
Sport: Swimming
Events: backstroke, freestyle
High school: Waterville
Major: Film

Schultz and his teammates will train in Florida for two weeks, and when they return north, they hope to be ready to face the tough New England Small College Athletic Conference competition.

"That training trip is the peak of our difficult training," Schultz said. "That's when we're all at our fastest."

A sophomore at Connecticut College, Schultz is focusing on backstroke and freestyle events. As a senior at Waterville in 2011, Schultz won the Class B state title in the 100 backstroke.

"He may be able to help us in freestyle relays," Connecticut College swimming coach Marc Benvenuti said. "All three of his backstrokes are competitive, the 100 seems to be where his combination of speed and endurance is best."

Added Schultz: "Freestyle is not my most refined stroke, technically, but I'm doing pretty well."

In Saturday's meet against Williams College, Schultz placed sixth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2 minutes, 8.77 seconds, good for sixth place. In the Camels' win over Coast Guard on Dec. 1, Schultz placed third in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.12 seconds.

"The team is finding its groove," Schultz said. "We just beat Coast Guard for the first time."

In improving his backstroke, Schultz is focused on his starts and turns, particularly when he's under water.

"You're fastest under water," Schultz said.

Benvenuti said Schultz returned for his second season with the Camels more committed to working out.

"The biggest thing is how hard he's been training. He's starting to see results from it," Benvenuti said.

In the pool, Schultz added more yardage to his workouts. In the gym, he joined his teammates in a lifting program focused on increasing power.

"We're focused on power and recovery. We'll work out hard, then we'll have a week to recover for that group of muscles," Schultz said. "We ramp it up when we can (in the pool), add a little yardage."

Schultz recently declared his major, Film.

"I've taken a bunch of film classes, which I've enjoyed," Schultz said.

As for the movie that could be made on the Connecticut College swimming season, Schultz hopes it ends with him contributing to more Camel wins.

"My goal is to see how I can do and how fast I can go," Schultz said.

"We've discussed more general goals than anything specific," Benvenuti said. "I know he wants to score a lot of points and help the team, and I think he can do that."

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242

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