May 15, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - While many college students look forward to taking a break from rising early during the summer months, members of the NC State swimming and diving program can still be found at the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center before 6 a.m. One of those student-athletes is rising senior Marifrances Henley.
Henley had a strong junior campaign, which included breaking four school records, one as an individual and three as a member of a relay team. Henley set a new standard in the 200 freestyle with her time of 1:47.00, and was a part of the 200-, 400-, and 800-freestyle relay teams that posted top marks. She also recorded the third-fastest time in school history in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, swimming times of 23.01 and 49.63, respectively.
Henley is currently training for the Olympic Trials, as she has qualified for the event in the 100 freestyle. The Trials will be held in Omaha, Neb., beginning June 25 and running until July 2. The semifinals for the women's 100 freestyle will be on Friday, June 29, with finals taking place the following day.
Q: What is a typical day of practice like for you in the summer?
A: Last summer, we had practice from 6-8 in the morning, and then I had to work from 10-12 doing summer league coaching. Then I'd take a nap and grab lunch and swim again from 2-4. After that I'd have to go back and coach from 5-7 and then go home and go to sleep. Usually 3 times a week we would lift weights. This summer I have an internship at the Jimmy V Foundation. I'll still be keeping the same swimming schedule, and my internship schedule only requires me to work about 15 hours a week.
Q: How different is training in the summer for you, as opposed to during the season?
A: There's not a limit to 20 hours a week in the summer, but all the practices are technically optional because it can't be required for us to be there. We usually swim a little more in the summer, but the lifting is about the same. We do more dry land stuff, more running and jump ropes and stuff like that, but that's really the only difference. We still train just as hard, and it's also long course as opposed to short course.
Q: What are your goals for the summer?
A: This summer, I'd love to get another [Olympic] Trials cut or two. I'll then go to Omaha for the [Olympic] Trials. My goals there are to just go personal-bests, because my chances of making finals are pretty slim. That's my personal goal, as well as the goals of the coaches for me.
Q: What are your goals for next season?
A: As far as next year, I'd like to go out my senior year with a bang. I have the record in the 200 freestyle and I would like to keep that. I want to go to NCAAs on a relay, and I think we have a really good chance of doing that, especially with some of the incoming freshman that we have.