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Athlete of the Week: Jacqueline Barklund

(Editor's note: Throughout the local high school sports season, Culpeper Times will again recognize an “Athlete of the Week” from one of the sports on a rotating basis. This week we feature girls swimming. At the end of the year the Times will select a male and female athlete at both Culpeper County and Eastern View high schools and recognize them as “Athlete of the Year” at their respective schools.)

Jacqueline Barklund spends a lot of time in the water and it's paying off
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Barklund, a freshman, swims for Eastern View High School and also with BASS – the Battlefield Area Star Swimmers. Last week in a meet with the Cyclones she swam the 100 backstroke in 1:02.7, a time good enough to qualify her to compete at the state meet this year.

Barklund is the Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week” for girls swimming.

“This is her second year with us, but she swims year-round,” said EVHS assistant coach Amy Sites Monday night. “She’s very talented – just an all around good athlete. And she also has a great sense of humor to go along with her swimming skills.”

Barklund had a unique reason for naming the backstroke as her favorite stroke – and her sense of humor was evident.

“I like it because you get to breathe all the time,” she said.

Although she swims a lot, Barklund said she is never satisfied with her times.

“My biggest challenge is probably always pushing myself to get better,” she said. “Although I like backstroke best, I swim all of the strokes. The hardest for me is probably the butterfly.”

Barklund also plays lacrosse for the Cyclones.

“I think the conditioning we do for lacrosse helps me with swimming,” she said.

Barklund lists history as her favorite class and said she wants to go to college after she graduates from high school, but she doesn't yet know about a major.

“I'll figure out what I want to do before I go, though,” she said.

Asked what she did when she wasn't involved in sports, there was a long pause. Finally she said, “do homework and hang out with friends.”

She added, “but I'm usually swimming.”

With no public pool in Culpeper, the EVHS and Culpeper County High School swim teams practice at the WARF (Warrenton Area Recreation Facility) in Warrenton, but Barklund said she doesn't mind.

“The travel doesn't bother me because we get water time, which is better than dry land training,” she said.

NOTE: Culpeper County High School coach Dave Hodgson nominated freshman Virginia Davidson.

“She began swimming for us as an eighth-grader even though she has severe asthma,” Hodgson said. “She brings her bag of meds with her every day and then jumps in the pool and does her workout. She never complains or whines and she doesn't look for reasons to get out of the pool.

“She always has a big smile on her face and a positive attitude. With her asthma, I've been putting her in the shorter races, but she is building her endurance. She is always there to say something positive to the other girls. She exemplifies what we're trying to do as a swim team.”

Davidson said she has taken to the pool like, well, a fish to water.

“I have always had a thing for swimming since I was a little, little kid,” she said. “I thought joining the swim team would be cool, but it's not about me having fun in the pool, it's about being part of an extended family.”

Davidson admits that her asthma make swimming more of a challenge.

“It's hard to play sports when you can't breathe,” she said. “But exercise in general helps and swimming has definitely helped.”

Davidson that that while the freestyle is her favorite stroke she is “capable of doing all four strokes.”

In addition to her swimming, Davidson plays the flute in band. She also enjoys her French class.

“It's pretty awesome,” she said.

Although college is several years in the future, Davidson is already starting to make plans.

“I know I want to study veterinary sciences,” she said. “And I would probably go to Virginia Tech for that.”

In her spare time, Davidson said she likes to read and draw.

“And I like to write,” she added. “I just write down anything that comes to mind … crazy things that would never actually happen.”
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