This past weekend, the Vikings’ swim team faced off against St.Norbert’s. It was evenly matched, with the men’s team falling 148-51 but the women managing to take down the Green Knights 117-108.
The Lawrentian interviewed senior Natasha Statz who competed in the women’s 200-yard medley relay as well as the women’s 100-yard breaststroke and women’s 50-yard freestyle. When asked what her favorite event to compete in was, she said, “The 100 breaststroke because it is a lot of fun and does not tire me out as badly as the 200 breaststroke. It is also a stroke that not many people tend to compete in, as it is very difficult to swim.” When asked why she chose swimming over other sports, she said, “Pursuing swimming here at Lawrence was and has been a bonus. It gives me both a team and a family to grow with. It is also one of the only sports that involves getting into a different environment: a pool. There is no stopping to take your head out of the water and catch your breath…it is just go, go, go until you hit the final wall.” In addition, when asked about how she got into swimming and when she started, Natasha responded by saying, “Swimming has always been a favorite activity for me for as long as I can remember. I used to swim on a summer swim team from ages seven to 16, and then coached it until I came to Lawrence. Swimming gives me an ambition to do well and set goals to meet or break throughout the season, helps me get out of my comfort zone at practice and a super strong, caring and forever support system. No matter what I have gone through, there has always been a teammate there to help me get back on track. This year’s team dynamic has been really great as well.”
Switching gears to talk about the meet, Natasha elaborated on what she thought Lawrence’s biggest struggle was against St.Norbert’s as well as the Vikings’ greatest strength. She said, “St. Norbert’s had a really strong set up with their relays. Also, unlike the majority of our competitor schools, we are on a trimester system while everyone else does semesters. We’re getting pretty close to the end of our term, so a lot of the stress of academics has been hitting the team. However, we had really good results from our distance swims and with a couple of our shorter events as well. Our diver, Maddy Smith, was also cranking out some fantastic dives.” When asked about how she thinks she performed during the meet against St.Norbert’s and what her future goals were, Natasha said, “I believe that I performed fairly well with having less practices under my belt. I’m happy where my times were as now I’ve got a baseline to start at and keep moving forward with. My goals for this season are to beat my times from the previous season and build up my endurance even more than I have already.” On a different note, when asked if she considered swimming to be more of a team sport or an individual one, Natasha said, “I believe that swimming is both a team sport and individual in a sense. It is an individual sport when you’re the one in the water swimming and trying to beat your previous time. You’re the one getting the yards in each practice in order to compete well during that next meet. However, it is also a team sport because everyone’s results can win points and help place better in a meet no matter the size. Additionally, it is the strength of the team’s support that helps push everyone forward.” Lastly, when asked how swimming has added to her overall college experience, she said, “Swimming has been such a large part of my college career that I cannot imagine these past, almost, four years without it. The amount of dedication that is put into swimming from all ends of the team; coaches, swimmers, and our manager, has really left an impact on how I handle things outside of the pool as well. I’ve gained different definitions of growth, strength and family, as well as a group of friends that I know will always be there for me.”