Hoeing dives in for senior season
From the basketball court to the sidelines and then to the swimming pool, Olivia Hoeing’s last three winter seasons have been anything but ordinary.
As a sophomore back in the winter of 2018, Hoeing was one of the Salisbury’s better basketball players for former head coach Joe Mladosich. The following winter, however, threw a curveball at the then-junior Falcon after a successful soccer season in the fall.
A low heart rate caused Hoeing to miss her entire junior basketball season and resort to a spot on the bench, a position she was never accustomed to.
“The low heart rate was due to pushing myself in both academics and athletics, but not providing my body with the rest that it needed for so much expenditure,” Hoeing said. “From that experience, I learned the importance of resting and providing my body with the fuel it needs to work at the high rate I choose to perform at.”
With high school soccer in the rear view mirror for good, Hoeing shifted her focused to a new sport in 2020. She swam for a few summers during her elementary school years, but the jump back into the pool was a new endeavor at the varsity level.
“As it was my senior year, I decided that I wanted to try something different in the winter,” Hoeing said. “In the past, basketball had been a sport to keep me in shape for soccer. I decided to give swimming a try because I knew that it could really improve my athletic stamina.”
Hoeing admits she had no expectations when she first hit the water. And that meant little pressure for the first-year swimmer.
Still, she impressed everyone associated with the Salisbury swimming program. Hoeing recently qualified for the districts in two individual events: 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly.
She swam her season-best time in the former on Monday in a dual meet at Blue Mountain. She finished the race in 2:20.04. Her qualifying-time for districts in the 100-yard butterfly is 1:14.60.
“I was excited coming into the season knowing that I had absolutely no expectations,” Hoeing said. “However, when I started adjusting to the sport, I decided to compete to the best of my ability in any event the team needed me in.”
“Olivia has been a role model for all of our newer swimmers, showing how even if it’s just your first year, push yourself and put the work in and practice pays off,” head coach Mackenzie Sikora said.
Sikora also pointed out that Hoeing has been open to swimming any event that the team needed her to over the past couple of months.
“We knew she was an athlete, so we were looking forward to seeing how she would do in a meet,” Sikora said. “Going from land sports to swimming can be a challenge because of breath control, but she took the challenge and has succeeded. She has met her goals for the season, and we’re looking forward to her in districts in a fast pool and suit.”
The only remaining meet left on Salisbury’s schedule before districts at the end of the month is a last chance meet at Emmaus High School on February 15. For Hoeing, she’s already qualified for the postseason meet set for February 28-29 and Parkland High School.
“I was extremely excited to qualify for districts,” Hoeing said. “In the beginning of the season, both of the coaches told me that I would qualify for at least one event, but being completely honest I didn’t believe them.”