Swimming is more than a sport for Hannah Lincoln, a senior at Leesville. It’s a lifestyle. She lives, eats and breathes swimming.
“Swimming at the level that I do basically takes over your life,” said Lincoln.
Hannah Lincoln is a year-round swimmer for MOR, or Marlins of Raleigh. She also swims for Leesville and has for the past three years.
The time commitment required to partake in this activity is extensive — she spends, on average, 4 hours a day in the pool, 5 days a week.
While most students wake up around 6, Lincoln is up at 4 a.m. to be at the pool by 4:45. Once there, she swims until 6.
“We then have an hour to get dressed, eat breakfast and head to school,” Lincoln explained.
After school, Lincoln heads back to the pool.
“We have after school practices from 3:15 till 6 every day,” she added.
Then, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the team lifts weights for another 45 minutes.
Most of her weekends are taken up by swim meets, which can last anywhere from a day to three days.
She comes from an athletic family. Faith, Kirk and Charlsie Lincoln, her three older siblings, all swam for Leesville. Charlsie now swims at East Carolina University.
Lincoln has lettered the past three years swimming at Leesville. She has placed at states and helped her team win their Cap-8 conference 3 years in a row.
Swimming for MOR, she has made the junior national cut for the 100 butterfly and has earned the title as an ‘academic all-american,’ or a swimmer who has a GPA of 4.0 or high and swims close to a national level.
Lincoln is also an impressive student academically, maintaining a weighted GPA of 4.2.
When asked how she did it all, Lincoln was reproachful.
“Well, I know it sounds bad, but I don’t do my homework. I just study. Like for calculus, we had daily homework assignments, but they were never checked. So instead, I just studied and saved myself time,” she said.
Lincoln has travelled all over the nation, having meets everywhere between Wilmington, Nashville ,Tennessee and Savannah, Georgia.
She started swimming year round because she wanted to help with college expenses.
“I saw how much it sucked when my older sister was in debt right after college. I knew I had potential for swimming, so I committed,” she said.
She raised the money to pay for her expensive year round team herself, working long hours during the summer as a lifeguard.
It has paid off because Lincoln has received swimming scholarship offers from Division I schools in-state, as well as from Louisiana, Alabama and West Virginia.
Lincoln is adamant about how the time commitment is 100 percent worth it.
“Seeing college athletes, how much fun they have travelling and how I might get a full ride to an amazing school, makes me see how sacrificing three years during high school really is not that bad,” Lincoln concluded.