Chewin’ the Fat: Q & A with Saucon Valley PIAA State Swimming Qualifier Tommy Madigan

Saucon Valley junior Tommy Madigan returns to the PIAA State Swimming Championships at Bucknell University.

Tommy Madigan is a junior at Saucon Valley High School.  He will be returning to Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium tomorrow to participate in his second PIAA State Swimming Championship.  Madigan recently qualified for states in the 200 meter Individual Medley which combines the four major strokes of swimming (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle). Saucon Source was able to catch Tommy before he left for the tournament to ask him a few questions.  Here is what he had to say!

Q: Can you give our readers a little background information about yourself?

A: I was born and raised in Saucon Valley and I have two sisters, Caroline who is 19 and Megan who is 9. I am in 11th grade and planning to study engineering and swim in college. I’m not really set on one specific college just yet. I’ll take a closer look at the end of the swim season and the end of the school year.

Q: How did you first get involved with swimming and what do you like most about it?

A: I first got involved with swimming when my parents signed me up for a summer swim team when I was 8 years old. ​I really like how you can meet new people, especially from different schools. It’s nice to talk to swimmers at our dual meets, and it’s also fun to race people you already know on opposing teams. This season especially, I made a lot of new friends and seeing most of them at the District XI meet was a whole lot of fun.

Q: What is your favorite event?

A: Right now my favorite event is the 200 Individual Medley. I like the 200 IM the most because it is one of the toughest races to train for because I have to work on all four strokes. However, it is also one of the most rewarding events because there is always one part of your race that you can improve upon.

Q: What event would you say is your best?

A: I would say that my best event is the 100 Breaststroke, with a time of 1:03.07 seconds.

Q:  This is your second trip to States. How is your approach this year different from last year?

A: This year’s approach to States is a lot different from last year. I joined a new club team (Parkland Aquatic Club) and began swimming all year-round. I began doing more strength training, and the swim practices I completed this season were a lot more challenging than last year. This year I learned more about the importance of recovery, and the beneficial effects of stretching and rolling out before and after practices and competitions.

Saucon Valley junior Tommy Madigan

Q: What is your favorite way to “recover?”

A: My favorite recovery fuel after practice is definitely chocolate milk.

Q: Do you adhere to a specific diet when training? Can you describe your eating habits?

A: I am very thankful to have my parents take care of my meals for me. They buy healthy food for my family and it benefits all of us, not just myself. I usually stick with the same foods for the most part. A typical meal for me would be chicken, broccoli and rice.

Q: I am sure you have a very busy schedule. Can you give us a sense of what your day is like in season?

A: Sometimes managing school and swimming can be challenging. Going to practice and then staying up late to do homework really beat me up during the winter. I really had to manage my time and stay focused on my schoolwork when the workload got heavy.

Q: Can you share a personal goal that you want to accomplish at States?

A: I want to break the 2-minute barrier in the 200 I.M., and that was my goal for the District XI meet. I didn’t hit my goal time there (D-XI 2:04:59), and after analyzing my race and working on the little things I think that I can come closer at States.

Q: Do you have a good luck routine before your races? Any quirky superstitions you can share?

A: I don’t really have any superstitions before races. I usually just do some small movements to get my heart rate going and warm up my muscles a bit.

Q: Do you have any advice you can share for youngsters who may want to be competitive swimmers?

A: My tip for novice swimmers is to commit yourself to the sport and to try your hardest at every practice.

Due to the winter weather, the PIAA had to reschedule the 2017 Swimming and Diving Championships. The PIAA AA Boys are currently scheduled to start competing Thursday evening. The Boys’ Championships are slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Good luck Tommy, the Saucon Valley community is with you!

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