By Brady Busha
Freshman Max Stahl on the Lawrence University Men’s Swim team recently finished his second meet as a Lawrence swimmer. In his recent meet at Ripon College, despite the men’s team losing by a score of 123-58, Stahl was a bright spot, placing first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:17.24.
Where are you from? What drew you to Lawrence?
I’m from Albuquerque, N.M. I came to Lawrence because of the pre-med program here. Even though there’s no certain major, the postgrad[uate] connections are great. I also liked the size of the school.
What is the mentality like, getting ready for a race? How do you stay focused?
I don’t do a whole lot. I just wait until I’m there, and then when I’m behind the blocks, I get really focused. If I start thinking about competition too far in advance, I just freak myself out.
Now that the season’s beginning, what has been your favorite part of the whole experience?
Just hanging out with the team. They’re really awesome, and I’ve never been on a team that’s this solid and fun. Ever. My relay team especially is really cool, so I hang out with them all the time, playing video games, watching South Park. It’s a lot of fun.
What’s one thing you’re really looking forward to for the rest of this year as a Lawrence student?
Currently, I’m taking German and I’m really looking forward to understanding that better since the language classes here are so good. I’m also really excited to pursue my pre-med track and to continue to experience the environment, since I think it’s only gotten better.
How different does competing at Lawrence feel from competing in high school?
In high school, we didn’t have our own pool. We had to use the University of New Mexico’s pool for early practices, and it was just miserable. Even as a captain, I wouldn’t show up, because it was such a pain. There was a lot of messing around, which was fun, but it didn’t help me improve my swimming. Being here is a lot different. Even within just these few short weeks, I think I’m in the best swimming shape of my life.
How have your teammates helped you with your transition into the life of a collegiate student-athlete?
One of the captains of the team, senior Hayley Cardinal, is a German major, so she helps me with that. The men’s team, since it’s so small and they’re all Chemistry people, they can’t really help me with studies. But they really help to take the stress away that comes with being in college.
What do you bring to this team that could help to raise the team’s ranking at conference?
I’m a backstroker. We only had one backstroker last year, and we didn’t have much of a relay last year. We’re already doing fairly decent this year, but I’m not really focused on me. I’m more concerned about it as a team sport, about helping the growth and environment of the individuals around me. Being positive also helps the people around me get better as swimmers as well.