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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Perseverance pays off for Pierce’s swimmer

After an amazing season as a Pierce College swimmer, breaking four school records, and being awarded Female Athlete of the Year for 2012, Laura Hagopian is overjoyed for what is next.


Just her freshman year at Pierce, yet Lara has accomplished what many swimmers train years to achieve.


Having won all three of her individual events at the Conference Championships in Bakersfield, just two weeks ago, and leading off the 200m free relay as well as breaking a new school record in the 50m freestyle, Lara kept pushing herself to break her own school records again.


“Freshman year has been so crazy for me and I can’t believe it’s already coming to an end,” Hagopian said. “I’ve been training harder than I ever have and it really has paid off.”


Joining the team as a club swimmer with years of experience meant that she would get no slack just because of her a first year, according to Hagopian.


“Breaking four school records in just my first season makes me excited for the next year to come because I know I still have so much to learn and improve on,” she said.


But don’t judge her achievements as a struck of luck, Laura has been swimming competitively for a club team for almost 13 years.


She has followed her passion for swimming by joining the school team her freshman year at Calabasas High School five years ago and has been representing her schools since.


“Swimming is my passion. As a child I tried so many different sports and as I grew up my parents told me to start narrowing down all my sports to the ones I actually loved doing,” she said. “Swimming was my favorite because of all the friends I’ve made and how positive my experiences were competing.”


She keeps a rigid diet of classic pasta carb load the night before her races and makes sure to stretch a lot and most importantly get a good night’s rest, the night before her meets she said.


“Before a big competition I tend to get extremely nervous and psych myself out. I try to channel as much nervous energy into my actual race as possible but until then I’m either listening to some upbeat music or joking around with friends,” Hagopian said.


At really important meets, according to Hagopian, she says a prayer before stepping up on the blocks to also calm herself down and keep her positive and focused.


“Laura is one of the fastest freshman we’ve ever had in this school, she qualified to five races for state without having had swam in conference yet,” Women’s Swimming team’s head coach Judi Terhar said. “She made state even with her worst times.”

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