Jacey McGraw poses at Winter Sports Media Day Nov. 17.

Sink Or Swim

McGraw Strives To Recover from Injury

     Being an athlete is common, but not every athlete will face a potentially career-ending injury like sophomore swimmer Jacey McGraw has. She has been battling her injury for two and a half years, recently facing an injury flare up which affected her ability to swim. 

     McGraw is struggling with IT band syndrome, a sprained MCL, and she also has tendonitis. She said the  injuries came from overworking in swimming, and while she is currently not allowed to swim, she has been trying to get back to working on her goal of swimming in college. 

     “I have been swimming for so long I couldn’t imagine not swimming after high school,” McGraw said.

     McGraw used to compete in the breaststroke, but she now swims the individual medley relay race with a combination of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle combined into one race. She said she swims the medley relay because it is the only way she’s able to swim breaststroke. The breaststroke requires substantial knee movement, which prevents McGraw from being able to participate with her injury. 

     “It’s hard not being able to swim and especially not being able to compete in the breaststroke,” McGraw said.

      McGraw’s goal is to get back to the level she was before she was injured. She said she  hasn’t been able to swim her greatest times in four years, which is hard for her, but she has not given up on her goal to swim again. McGraw said she and her doctors hope that if she continues her physical therapy year round, her injury will not flare up anymore and she can continue to swim. 

     “According to my physical therapist, I’m hyperflexible,” McGraw said. “When I do things like standing or kicking, I hyperextend my knees.”  

     McGraw is gradually getting back into swimming with some limitations and assistance. She is swimming currently, but she has certain limitations. She can only swim 50% with a kick; the other half she has a buoy on her legs and pulls it behind her. 

     “That way I’m just easing back in with the legs and don’t swim full force and hurt myself again,” McGraw said.

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