Julia Goroshko puts best foot forward for Council Rock North swimming (PHOTO GALLERY)

Council Rock North sophomore Julia Goroshko, seen here doing the butterfly, knows that her strong suit is the 50-yard freestyle race. (John Gleeson – 21st-Century Media)

NEWTOWN – Though few athletes would claim that they love putting themselves through a torturous practice session, most would acknowledge that it is essential. Hard work and dedication often lead to the biggest rewards. No one knows this truism better than a scholastic swimmer.

Julia Goroshko, sophomore swimmer for Council Rock North, sums it up best. “I have told people I have a love/hate relationship with swimming.

“Going to all the practices can get a bit annoying, especially with doing all my schoolwork and being in a lot of honors classes and trying to maintain good grades. It gets pretty hard but once you see how far you’ve come, it’s all worth it and that makes you feel good.

“I like the thrill of it. When you work so hard at practice for months at a time then you taper, it feels really good. When you get to meets, it’s awesome to see how well you’re doing.”


Julia, who splits her practice time between Council Rock North and the Central Bucks Swim Team, estimates she spends 18-19 hours in the water every week. She attends morning sessions at school that start at 5:50 a.m. and last an hour. After school, she heads to her club where she logs another four hours. On Saturday, it’s back to the pool for another intense four-hour session starting at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Each of the weekly sessions has a different design. “In the morning, we focus on technique and kicking so we get more feedback in the morning. In the afternoon, we work on racing and doing a lot of yardage. We do two hours of intense swimming, one hour of dryland exercises, and one hour of weightlifting.”

The formula obviously pays dividends. Her freshman year, Julia finished second in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference championships in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke. She also qualified for districts in both events.

This season, the personable sophomore hopes to do even better. “I’d like to make states in the 50 free. This year already, I’ve gotten a better time in the 50 free than I did last year at districts. I’m hoping that at districts, I can get a high 23 and possibly make states.”

Having been in competitive swimming since age six, Julia has a good feeling about her strengths and weaknesses in the pool. “I am not a distance swimmer and I also don’t swim the breaststroke. The 50 free is my favorite event. Ever since I was young, I had my mind set on being a sprinter. Every practice when I have an option, I do sprint workouts. I don’t have the endurance for a long distance.”

Experience has helped Julia develop a sound strategy for swimming the 50 free. “I try to get off the blocks as quickly as possible. When I’m breaking out, I don’t take any breaths. I only take two breaths in the whole 50. Off my turn, I try to be as explosive as possible and keep a tight stream line. In the 50 free, little things can make such a difference.”

She also knows the value of prepping herself before every race. “The day before a race, I get a good night’s sleep. On the day of a meet, I eat a little better than I usually do like I won’t eat a cookie from the school cafeteria. I’ll also stay hydrated and drink a couple bottles of water.”

When stepping to the blocks seconds before her actual race, Julia becomes all business. “Before my race, I stretch to get my body relaxed. I visualize my race and that is very important for me. When I put on my goggles I’ll close my eyes and imagine me swimming the race and that gets my heartbeat going and gives me an adrenaline boost. It makes me excited for the race so when I’m on the blocks, I’ll feel ready to go.”

In the Lady Indians’ recent meet against a strong Central Bucks East squad, Julia’s adrenaline boost helped her take first place in the 50 free in a time of 25.13. She also swam backstroke for North’s 200 medley relay team that recorded a winning time of 1:54.4. Unfortunately for Indian fans, CB East boasted too much depth and won the girls meet 122-63.

The Rock boys swimmers balanced the ledger, taking their meet by a 109-74 score. Key contributors were Ryan Lawlor, who took first in the individual medley (IM) and Davis Wojnovich, who won the 100-yard butterfly.

Regardless of the outcome, both squads showed the camaraderie that has become synonymous with Council Rock swimming. In Julia’s words, “It feels great to be a part of Council Rock. Everyone works really hard at practice and we are all like a family there. Everyone on the team pushes you to go harder and be better. They help motivate you. The whole team wants to do well and excel at swimming, but everyone just wants to have fun and be with each other.”

All the hard work and sacrifice have helped meld these dedicated athletes into a very successful swimming family.

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