Lilly Adams: Swimming Her Way to the Top

Sonja Woerner, Writer

Kennedy swimmer, Lily Adams, began a journey that would shape her future at five years old. She started swimming. She joined the Black Hawk Area Swim Team (BLAST) in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Adams worked with them until she moved to Cedar Rapids in January of 2021.

The move was smooth. Adams jumped right back into swimming with the Eastern Iowa Swim Federation (EISF) that was operating out of Coe College. During her time there, she worked on her stroke technique. Just a few weeks later, EISF disbanded and Adams was left to find a new team.

When swim season is over for high schools, Lilly now swims with Iowa Flyers Swim Club (IFLY). During swim season, she swims with Kennedy’s Women’s Swimming and Diving. She is the only freshman on the varsity team of 16 athletes. The dynamic was different than Adams expected.

“I thought there would be more separated social groups like there are in clubs, but we’re really all in it together,” Adams says.

Lilly is leading Kennedy’s swim team with the best 100-yard backstroke time at 1:00.87. She is expected to make a state-qualifying time in the event.

“I really like backstroke,” Adams says. “I’m good at it, but I can always improve. I want to continue to get better.”

Adams also swims the 200-yard individual medley and is ranked third at Kennedy with a time of 2:19.25. She enjoys it, but has struggled in comparison to her pre-COVID performance with her butterfly portion of the medley.

“I can definitely work on my fly, it’s a lot of work but I’m improving on it,” Adams says.

Adams focuses on finding ways to push herself during practice and improve her times.

“I can really improve all of my strokes. I’m okay at all of them, but I know I can be better,” Adams says. “I need to get back to my pre-COVID times, and that’s going to take work.”