Swimming World Presents – Up & Comers: Scarlet Aquatics’ Richard Poplawski – Sponsored By Spectrum Aquatics

SW February 2021 - Up and Comers - Scarlet Aquatics Richard Poplawski
Scarlet Aquatics' Richard Poplawski [PHOTO CREDIT: SURAYAH POPLAWSKI]

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Age Group Swimmer of the Month

Up & Comers: Scarlet Aquatics’ Richard Poplawski

By Shoshanna Rutemiller

 

Sponsored BySpectrum Aquatics Logo

 

Richard Poplawski of Scarlet Aquatics (BMS Jersey City Division, N.J.), is a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to the individual medley. The 14-year-old freshman at Seton Hall Preparatory School recently broke his own 13-14 New Jersey state record in the 400 yard IM (3:59.53) at Scarlet Aquatics’ “Fast Times” meet this past November. In early 2019, Poplawski set NAG records in both the 11-12 200 and 400 meter IM (2:13.59, 4:42.54).

“I’ve been fortunate to work with Richie starting this past September,” says Scarlet Aquatics coach, Kenneth O’Reilly. Previously, Poplawaksi was coached by Mohamed Abdelaal. “He’s a great kid, works hard and gets along with his teammates,” says O’Reilly. “Richie is ‘one of the boys,’ and he has a great time laughing and socializing with his friends and teammates.”

Outside of the pool, Poplawksi is a dedicated student. He is in advanced placement and honors courses, and was accepted into his high school’s Seton Scholars program. Students must score in the top 5% on their entrance exam and demonstrate academic achievement in middle school to receive this honor. Additionally, Poplawksi plays the cello and volunteers at his grandmother’s senior residence center.

SWIMMING WORLD: WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU DO IN SWIMMING?
RICHARD POPLAWSKI: It’s my ability to stay focused and push myself to meet my goals. I work with my coaches to set goals and put my best into all my practices to reach those goals. When I’m racing somebody, I try to power ahead of my competitors and keep myself at least an arm’s length ahead of them.

SW: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST WORKOUTS/SETS YOU’VE DONE?
RP: Some of the toughest sets I’ve done by far were during my training trips, especially on the last day. The coach would have us do 60 x 50s fly long course on 50 seconds. And I would always push myself as hard as I could to try and keep up with the older, faster kids on my team. After completing those sets, I felt super-energized, but equally tired.

SW: WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR?
RP: I’d like to qualify for Olympic Trials. I’ve been training really hard since we’ve been able to get back into the pool, and I feel confident, with the help of my coaches, that I will be able to bring my A-game when the time comes to compete. Also, I’m looking forward to representing my school, Seton Hall Prep. My school has some of the top swimmers in the state, and I can’t wait to compete at championship meets and take down some meet records with my teammates.

SW: WHO IS SOMEONE YOU LOOK UP TO IN SWIMMING… AND WHY?
RP: It’s difficult to pick just one swimmer, but if I had to choose, it would be Michael Phelps. Ever since I first swam the 400 IM and 200 fly, I have aspired to be just like him. I feel that the longer distance swims take a great deal of stamina, endurance and physical and mental training. And through the years, I’ve trained my body and mind to excel in those events. When I race the 400 IM and 200 fly, I get into a mindset that is unlike any other event that I race.


To read more Q&A responses from Richard Poplawski,
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SW February 2012 - Emma McKeon COVER[PHOTO BY DELLY CARR, SWIMMING AUSTRALIA]

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Swimming World Magazine February 2021 Issue

FEATURES

012 THE PRIDE OF GIRLS’ POLO IN THE GATEWAY CITY
by Michael Randazzo
When COVID-19 lockdowns last spring stopped polo, Rob Peglar and Abby VerMeer didn’t hesitate: they focused on getting girls water polo untracked in the Gateway City. The result: the St. Louis Lions, the city’s first all-girls team.

014 ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
by Dan D’Addona
The popular motto of The Musketeers, built on supporting each other as well as the group, is just one of many reasons why the University of Texas remains among the strongest in men’s college swimming and diving.

020 READY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
by Andy Ross
Melanie Margalis is an Olympic relay gold medalist and a three-time relay champion at Worlds, but a podium finish in an individual event has eluded her on the world’s biggest stage. After ranking No. 1 in the 400 IM and No. 3 in the shorter medley for 2020, her turn to win a medal for the United States could take place this year in Tokyo.

022 PERSEVERANCE AND HARD  WORK PAY OFF
by David Rieder
After not qualifying for Australia’s Olympic team in 2012, Emma McKeon was ready to quit…but over the next several months, she had a change of heart and understood what was necessary to compete at a higher level. Since then, she has become a significant international force, a consistent podium presence and one of the world’s most impactful relay swimmers.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: TARNISHED GOLD
by John Lohn
East Germany’s Kristin Otto will long be remembered as a highly decorated athlete, and for turning in one of the greatest Olympic outings in history, winning six gold medals at the 1988 Games. But because of the links to her and performance-enhancing drugs, what she accomplished—before and in Seoul—will always be tainted.

029 WHO “SHOT” THE SWIMMERS? (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
Shortly after the 1936 Olympics in a lab in Boston, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, an electrical engineering professor at MIT, began tinkering with equipment that would change the way science explains natural phenomena—and with it, the art of aquatic sports photography—forever.

032 NUTRITION: TO BE THE BEST, YOU NEED TO EAT THE BEST!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Each year really does build onto another—nutrition is an imperative part of the process, even at an early age.

COACHING

016 SELLING PROCESS TO SWIMMERS (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
In 1993, psychologist Anders Ericsson wrote that greatness wasn’t born, but grown. Fifteen years later, author Malcolm Gladwell suggested that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a skill or field. Known by the term, “process,” swim coaches use that learning curve to improve the performance of their swimmers.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE FOR SPRINT AND DISTANCE (Part 2)
by Rod Havriluk
Optimal freestyle technique for sprint and distance is identical with respect to the arm motion throughout the stroke cycle, but the arm coordination is different. While a swimmer can swim a wide range of velocities with opposition coordination, a swimmer will only achieve his/her fastest velocity with superposition coordination.

040 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING THE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE—THEN AND NOW
by Michael J. Stott
In his lengthy career, Gregg Troy has mentored athletes of all ages and abilities, which has given him a unique perspective of how to prepare post-college grads for excellence at the international level.

042 Q&A WITH COACH JOE PLANE
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ANDREW IVERSON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: TIME TO GET STRONG…AGAIN!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

038 GOLDMINDS: JUST GO WITH THE FLOW
by Wayne Goldsmith
How can you control—and even master—your emotions? The answer is by learning to become a more resilient swimmer. Here’s how…

046 UP & COMERS: RICHARD POPLAWSKI
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

010 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: 

ABOUT FREDERICK LANE?

047  GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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