Q&A: Christina Ray
You put together a solid performance on last Saturday in the win over Cornell. You came away with a pair of individual victories in the 50 & 100 free and a relay win. How did that all feel on homecoming?
"We just came off training trip and we put in a lot of hard work over the whole Christmas break so it felt rewarding to be able to get some good swims in after that. Homecoming is a fun meet because a lot of alumni, the men’s team, a lot of parents, and classmates come and it’s nice to have support."
You have consistently been a key contributor this season in the sprints for Columbia. What has been your focus this year?
"The two main things I have been focusing on are power and efficiency. To train for that in the water the sprint group has been focusing a lot on resistance work, body positioning, and breath control. Out of the water we’ve been putting a large emphasis on weights to be more powerful and we’ve been doing pilates because core work helps with body positioning. Our coaches have been very innovative with how the sprint group is training and it is paying off because we have all improved a lot this season."
The team is on a roll with a 4-0 Ivy League record. What does the team need to do to keep the momentum going?
"This past break was the hardest period of practicing that a lot of us have experienced and we’ve had some very high energy meets this season. That makes our team very exited but it can also be tough to keep putting in so much work when we’re all so exhausted. Our coaches always tell us to “stay the course” and “buy in to what the team is doing” and we do that by supporting each other and trusting the training that the coaches have us do. We have so much momentum and training behind us that it would be very difficult to slow down the momentum."
You opened the season with the program’s first win over Harvard. How did that feel and how has it affected the season?
"The Harvard meet was one of the most exiting meets I’ve swum in. Our team had set the goal of beating Harvard and we were very pumped up but I was also nervous because we had been training very hard going into the meet and I was sore and worried I wouldn’t post fast times. Our team swam really well for the whole meet and set the bar for the rest of the season very high because we did something we’ve never done before. That meet taught all of us to trust our coaches and our training because we bought in to what they said and it produced great results."
What’s been the best part of the season so far?
"The best part of the season so far was when we won our first three meets in two weekends. It got the momentum rolling and made the training worth it."