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All-City Swimming: Bishop McGuinness' Lizzy Whitbeck overcomes burnout

By Robert Przybylo, Staff Writer, Published: April 7, 2010
You never would have guessed anything was wrong with Bishop McGuinness senior Lizzy Whitbeck.

She was coming off a year in which the Irish won the first Class 5A state swimming championship. She won two individual titles and was a part of two relay championships.

Everything seemed like it was perfect, but it was far from it.

Last August, it finally happened. Whitbeck, who had been swimming nonstop for years, had reached that burnout point.

"I didn’t even want to see the inside of a pool,” Whitbeck said.

Instead of making a hasty decision, Whitbeck gave herself a week break to sit back and evaluate things.

The love came back. With that decision, all the drama went out the window in the 5A girls swim race for this season.

The Irish returned a strong nucleus of four seniors and some young swimmers on the rise and were expected to dominate the competition.

McGuinness did just that, and Whitbeck finished her career in style. She once again won two individual titles and two relay titles and was the choice for The Oklahoman’s All-City Girls Swimmer of the Year.

"She was such a great leader,” senior teammate Amee Pena said. "When you felt like you were tired and couldn’t go on, she would tell you to keep pushing and to go beyond what you thought you could do.”

Trying to push herself to the limit was about all Whitbeck could do to keep herself motivated.

Training for a couple of years with her sister, Katie, who is now at Arkansas, and former Edmond Memorial star and current Stanford swimmer Samantha Woodward, Whitbeck had seen what happens when pushed.


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