Overlin continues to work at lifelong passionTuesday, January 10, 2012 By T.J. Overlin
"Just keep swimming," was one of the many mottos for last year’s swim team—and the one thing on the team’s minds was to become a contender at the state meet. When junior Whitney Overlin came into the Southeast Polk swim program she was honored to be the only freshman on the team. That year, Overlin lettered; the next year, she was an alternate on a state-qualifier relay team. Overlin gets motivated by the competition; she says that just competing against her friends is motivation enough. "Every time I get in the pool it is a new competition," she says. "You have to forget about yesterday and just focus on the work that is set in front of you today," Overlin said. Overlin loves competing against friends from school and also friends from other schools who she swims with now at a swim club, DMSF, where she swims all year round—she says this is how she stays in shape during the off-season. Why does a person swim all year-round? Overlin said while laughing, "My mom makes me, but I like it. I started late but I think I have found something that is my calling. "When I was little, I was always in the pool; whenever I would go to my grandma’s house, my mom always said that I was taking my clothes off in the car and when we arrived, I would get out in the car and run to the backyard and be ready to get in the pool. "I would then stay in the pool until my mom would come and force me to get out. "It did not matter if my lips were blue and purple and I was shivering," she said, "I would just stay in the pool and play all by myself." When a child is so passionate about something, it tends to resonate from their parents, and in this case, thanks to the support of Overlin’s mom, it’s very true. Overlin’s mom, Roberta Jorgensen, is passionate about her daughter’s swimming. "When Whitney wins a race or drops her time, I get really excited," Jorgensen says. "I keep a book of all the times that she receives when she is swimming. "I record the times she has received to see how much progress she has made in the few years that she has been swimming," Jorgensen said. Along with her mom’s support, Overlin says that she is inspired by her coaches. "They push me to be a great swimmer and push me even harder to be a better person," she says. As for her favoritve part of being on the swimming team, Overlin says she loves all of the inside jokes and the great friends she has made. "No matter if we’re in the pool, out to eat or in the halls, it always makes me smile when one of my swim friends says ‘hi’ to me," Overlin said.