Recently on ESPN Ithaca’s Between the Lines, host Jeremy Menard spoke with Ithaca High Swimmer Jamie Lovette and discussed his team’s top finish at the Section IV Championship. The senior was named the event’s Most Outstanding Swimmer, placing first in the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle events. Jamie also helped the Little Red to wins in the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. In recognition of his performance, he was named ESPN Ithaca’s Fueling Excellence High School Male Athlete of the Week. Here is a snippet of that conversation; to hear the full interview, visit ESPN Ithaca’s on-demand PodCenter at ESPNIthaca.com.
Jeremy Menard: You know to win, I’m a firm believer that there has to be a specific type of culture in the program to win. Players not only need the want to win, but also the expectation to win, so what’s the culture like in the program?
Jamie Lovette: Well, I think we have a fantastic, strong team and all of the swimmers are really driven. A lot of our swimmers swim year round and have a lot of that competitive experience. I think that definitely helps drive in the pool and really have that urge to succeed. I know that during practice at least, we all race and really put our best foot forward and try and have the successes we really strive for. I think that not only comes out in the pool, but in also our day-to-day activities.
JM: After the team win in the sectional championship, what was the message from your head coach, Mike Blakely-Armitage, what did he say?
JL: Well, we had a loss last year at the sectional meet and so we were all really looking forward to this sectional meet to reassert ourselves and fortunately we were able to get the win. I think what Mike took away from this experience is that we had a much stronger team, we had a lot more depth which means that we not only had some top swimmers, we had a number of swimmers place all throughout the ranks in each event. So, what I think he definitely took away from this was that the key is to have a strong team and everyone on the team really contributed to the meet. I think that really brought a cohesive feel to the team.
JM: Coming back from the meet from Owego, what was the celebration like on the bus?
JL: (Laughs) Well, on the team we have a small tradition of going to the (Glenwood) Pines after our sectional meet, so afterwards we were celebrating on the bus, there was some quite loud music and a number of us tried to compete in the Pinesburger challenge. That’s an on-going tradition that’s a lot of fun.
JM: Did you complete the challenge?
JL: I completed it last year. I almost didn’t finish. But, two of our seniors this year, Rory Bodenstein and Owen Kelly both completed in under 13 minutes, I believe, so they were extremely happy and it was a nice conclusion to the sectional season.
JM: What is the challenge, refresh my memory, it’s like four Pinesburgers in 30 minutes, is that right?
JL: In under an hour, that’s right.
JM: So 13 minutes, you had a teammate do it, in 13 minutes?
JL: Yes they did, yup.
JM: Must have been hungry…
JL: (Laughs) Yeah, the sectional meet is a strenuous activity so we were all very hungry after our swims.