Swimmer prioritizes health for nationals

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Swimmer prioritizes health for nationals

Sophomore Noah Cutting at a previous meet.

Sophomore Noah Cutting at a previous meet.

Malia Riggs

Sophomore Noah Cutting at a previous meet.

Malia Riggs

Malia Riggs

Sophomore Noah Cutting at a previous meet.

Kaelia Neal, Editor-in-chief

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When Noah Cutting went to nationals last year as a freshman, he went based on talent. This year, he upped his game by focusing on healthy eating, sleeping more, and doing all of the little things to ensure his body was competition ready. Now he believes he’s in contention for a national title.

“Just the most simple things make you feel so much better when you’re competing,” Cutting said. “When I get in the pool, my body is ready for it.”

The sophomore is competing in the 100-yard butterfly, the 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. The meet is March 21-24 at the Indiana University-Purdue University Natatorium.

He is ranked 10th in the men’s 100 butterfly, 11th in the 200 butterfly, and 24th in the 200 IM.
Only .76 seconds separate first from 16th place in the 100 butterfly.

“Any one of us can take it,” Cutting said. “The national title is up for grabs in that race so that’s what I want. That’s the goal, and nothing less.”

Cutting is excited to compete in the 100 butterfly because the race happens “in the moment.”
“You get in, you swim your fastest, and it’s up to the little details of how precise your turns are and how good your under waters are and how close the race is to begin with.”

Cutting’s goal is to earn All-America honors by placing in the top eight in the 200 butterfly. He is looking to place among the top 16 to grab honorable mention All-America honors in the 200 IM.

At last year’s NCAAs, Cutting competed with his relay team. Unfortunately, the team fell short of qualifying for this year’s nationals meet.

“It is a bummer because it is a lot of help to have people you know and swim with around you. It’s going to be something I have to prepare for and deal with,” Cutting said.

However, Cutting’s father, Jonathan, will be at the meet to support him.

“He’s been there definitely when it comes to supporting me,” Cutting said. “The most you can do—I feel like as a parent—is cheer them on and tell them you’ve got to believe in yourself. That’s where my dad is and I really appreciate the fact that he wants to come and be a part of this because it’s definitely my biggest meet that I’ve ever swam at.”

Kyle Kimball, who is in his fourth year as head coach at Linfield, will travel with Cutting to the championship meet.

During high school, Kimball was Cutting’s club coach at Mid-Valley Aquatics. Once Cutting graduated, he planned to stop swimming and focus on school.

“I didn’t have much of a direction other than swimming was going well for me,” Cutting said. When he told Kimball of his plan, he was encouraged to not quit swimming.

“I didn’t want him to come [to Linfield] just because I knew him. I wanted him to make his own decision,” Kimball said.

Cutting already had a relationship with Kimball and the college was affordable, so at the last minute, he applied to Linfield. And it was worth it.

“I love it here,” Cutting said, who is majoring in accounting. He is also a tech services work study student at the library.

“Coming here I already had this trust relationship with my coach. I already knew how he worked, what he believed in, what it took out of me for this training to work,” Cutting said.

At nationals, Kimball’s goal for Cutting is to do his best and have fun.

“He definitely enjoys life in and out of the pool. I think that attitude he has helps him compete at a high level.”

Kimball said Cutting is an extremely hard worker and has a laid back attitude.

He said that Cutting “has the ability to compete under pressure and rise to the occasion” like making free throw shots in basketball with no time left on the clock.

Teammate Matt Hanson called Cutting a humble person. “You won’t hear Noah talk about how fast he is or how much he won by,” Hanson said. “He often keeps his successes to himself, which is a class act.”
Hanson said that Cutting’s ability to push himself sets him apart.

“Occasionally Noah will change some of the sets that our coach gives us and makes them even more exhausting. He’s not afraid to push himself harder than it needs to be, which is very difficult to do in swimming,” he said.

Teammate Trevor Gourley said what sets Cutting apart is “his mentality when he gets to practice. He brings a fun vibe that gets you pumped up. No matter what it is we’re doing he makes it fun.”

“My favorite memories of Noah and I are training with him every day knowing we’re best friends, and we are always pushing each other as hard as we can,” Gourley said.

“But no matter the outcome, we’ll always be friends and laugh about practice.”

Cutting will compete at the NCAA Championships with his and Kimball’s philosophy in mind: “As long as you believe in yourself, you’re really empowered to do anything you want.”

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