Keene State College has been a powerhouse in the Division III Little East Conference (LEC).

Over the last 17 years the school has been able to take home 16 Commissioner’s Cups, securing its position at the top amongst the other schools in the division.

The powerful stance that this school has athletically is a direct result of the quality of the athletes KSC is able to have compete.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

These student athletes are an interesting group of individuals in the sense that they are somehow able to not only attend practices everyday, complete all of their schoolwor, and spend time with friends, they are also able to compete at a level in their sport that has brought KSC to the top of the LEC for over a decade.

However, in order to keep the reign of the Owl’s, the athletes know it will take more than just sheer will power. KSC swim team members  Molly O’Connor, a sophomore, and JT Barth, a first-year, spoke on this matter.

Barth said, “[Nutrition] is the way you eat on a daily basis to perform your best in practice and during competition.”

“[A good] diet is one that has balanced amount of nutrients to give you enough energy to be the best athlete you can be.”

For athletes their performance is based on what they can achieve athletically with their body and food is the fuel for it, said Barth.

O’Connor added that when you eat smart choices, “you just feel better and it shows in your performance.” When you eat poorly, with what O’Connor described as sugars, fast food, energy drinks and alcohol, “your health declines and your body doesn’t have the quality energy to feed off of.”

When asking the athletes what the good foods were that they felt should be eaten as well as what they like to eat to give them an energy boost prior to competition, O’Connor said that she preferred pasta, eggs and bananas before meets to give her the energy to compete.

Barth said he favored complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole wheat bread along with lean proteins to give him energy.

He added that he eats “a balance of various foods for practice and healthy, high carb snacks for competitions,” and he felt greasy foods and alcohol were the worst things to have for athletes and people in general.

For the everyday person who is not in athletic competition, the desire to follow a strict diet and stay away from some foods that may taste better at times can be tough.

For the KSC athletes, it was interesting to see that they had two very strong and similar opinions.

The first was on dieting and that their coaches had spoke about how cutting calories was not the best diet but rather cutting out unhealthy eating choices led to improvement in athleticism.

Barth and O’Connor also believed strongly in drinking water and how much is can do for you.

Barth said that “water should be an athlete’s primary drink, it keeps away cramps and helps flush toxins out of the body,” and when he ate healthy he feels more awake and stronger.

These methods for nutrition can be applied to the everyday student to increase productivity for classes and to make them overall feel better.

Caleb Ledoux, a non-athlete here at KSC, gave some insight about how he went vegetarian for a few  months. He said, “It was an eye opening experience that at first was really hard but over time I felt better and better. Mentally I felt better because I was staying away from unhealthier foods and physically my body was responding well.”

Ledoux continued, “It was interesting to be putting good stuff in my body and actually see a difference in how it made me feel.”

Jacey Chavez can be contacted at jchavex@kscequinox.com