Club Excellence Swimmer Profile: Harrison Barone, SwimMAC Carolina
By Caitlin Foyt//Correspondent
SwimMAC Carolina is based in Charlotte, NC. The club finished fifth in the 2011 USA Swimming Club Excellence Gold Medal rankings. Harrison Barone talks about a few of his key moments at SwimMAC and one of the reasons for his success.
Name: Harrison Barone
Club: SwimMAC Carolina, located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Best Events: 200 & 100 backstroke.
How did you get started swimming? Four years ago. I swam on a local summer Y team and I had always wanted to swim on a club team, so I decided to sign up.
What are your goals? To swim for the Naval Academy and to get a Junior National cut when I'm 17 or 18.
How many hours per week do you spend at the pool? Somewhere between 15-16 hours.
What inspires you or drives you to train to the best of your ability? It's my inner goals in myself. I'm swimming for myself and I'm not swimming for anyone else. If I want to do well it's up to me, not anyone else. I have to do all of the hard work.
What kinds of things do you think about when you are practicing? Usually, the math of the next interval I have to make, or if my coach tells me something to do, I try to focus on that—kick harder or go faster, things like that.
What is your favorite practice or practice set? Editor's Note: This practice set represents a snapshot of training and is not necessarily appropriate for athletes of every age or ability.)
I like long IM sets. My favorite set is basically a build-up of a 400 IM. We usually do that during training around Christmas time.
How do you get amped up before a race? I listen to hip hop and high beat music or I'm just talking with friends.
What do you think has been a key to your success so far? My coaches convincing us to come to practice every day. They work harder than us because there are 20 of us and they have to worry about all of us. They're the reason I keep swimming.
Please share a key moment or meaningful accomplishment: Something that was a big game changer, last season while I was at a state meet, I won the 100 and 200 back and that showed me my success and inspired me to keep going. I've been swimming for a while, but that seemed to start me on my higher swim career. It showed me that I could do what I wanted to do.
How do you keep things fun? Socializing in between sets, hanging out and going to places like amusement parks with the swim team. In the locker rooms after practice, we'll talk about sets—if we could have done better or tried better. It's just fun to see how fast you can go up against other people and pushing yourself all together as a group.
What kinds of things do you do when you’re not swimming? I whitewater kayak at U.S. National White Water Center. I competitively kayak when I'm not swimming in August and I also kayak for fun on Saturdays throughout the year. I'm also in school and spend time hanging out with friends.
Anything else you'd like to add? I'm so lucky to swim for MAC for all of the resources we have available to us. If we have questions, we can go to Olympic swimmers in the elite program and senior swimmers. We have one coach, but also have other coaches come and watch us through other eyes. We don't ever have just one person looking at us.