On Mar. 8 to 11, members of the Varsity Swim Team competed in the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Orediggers competing in individual events were Brennan Mays, Carrie Kralovec, April Wood, and Mia Wood. They were joined by Lilly Creswick, Josh Graber, Loki Hondorf, Ethan Pfeiffer, and Josh Schechter for relay events.
Sending this many athletes to a national championship is a wonderful success. “Camaraderie and friendliness shared between everyone creates an extremely conducive environment that fostered growth and development” said A. Wood, a freshman in mechanical engineering, about the varsity swim and dive program. She competed in the 400-IM race.
“Our entire coaching staff with Nate, Lauren, and Andy is amazing,” A. Wood said. “They have created an amazing program to help us all achieve better swimming with faster times.”
A. Wood described qualifying for nationals as “a huge honor”. While the honor was well deserved, Wood remained humble, sharing that she had a lot of help and support from family and friends. She mentioned that the team always helps each other out, and that “everyone succeeded together” .
Mia Wood, an undeclared freshman, competed in the 100m, 200m, 500m, and 1,000m freestyle events. M. Wood shared that while she was a good swimmer in high school, she “never quite reached this level of accomplishment, and it’s an incredible experience.”
In order to qualify for the NCAA championships in the 500m freestyle, M. Wood had to meet her season goal for the event: break five minutes.
“It’s incredible to compete with people that I don’t see in Conference or dual meets,” M. Wood said and added that the Championships are a lot of fun. The new competition pushed Wood and all of the Mines athletes competing last weekend.
Carrie Kralovec is a senior majoring in computational and applied math. Kralovec competed in the 50m, 100m, 200m, and 500m freestyle races.
As a senior, Kralovec’s goal this season was to “really enjoy her last experiences on this team.” Kralovec has worked hard over the years, and shared that she thinks swimming is a very mentally tough sport.
Years of mental training no doubt helped Kralovec excel during her senior season and qualify for the NCAA championships.
Kralovec shared that she was “excited and honored” to get to race her last college swim meet at the NCAA championships. Kralovec concluded by sharing that she is thankful for the people who have helped her and that she is “happy to say she has reached her goals in loving every moment of the process” to get to where she is today.