Photo by Emai Thompson.
This week, I had the pleasure to talk with freshman swimmer Erin Lengel. She has been on fire during her first year swimming for the Vikings. In the last two weeks alone, she has taken the top spot in five events. Last week, Lengel swam a 25.59 in the 50-yard freestyle and 1:01.41 in the 100 butterfly. Her performance in the 100 was the second fastest in the Midwest conference. Those wins nabbed her the Midwest conference swimmer of the week. She followed up her already incredible performance with three first place finishes against Illinois Tech. She won the 100-yard butterfly again in 1:02.08, the 200 freestyle in 2:00.73 and the 200 backstroke in 2:18.24. Lengel is dominating this season and will look to continue her hot streak against Lake Forest on Jan. 17 and at home against Beloit on Jan. 20.
Shane Farrell: You have really made a splash in your first year competing for the Vikings. How do you feel you’ve performed so far?
Erin Lengel: I am really happy with my performance so far; I have dropped a lot of time and hopefully I continue to do that. My coaches and teammates are really encouraging and supportive and I credit my performance to all of them since they are always there for me.
SF: What does it mean for you to have won the Midwest Conference swimmer of the week?
EL: It’s a really cool honor to receive!
SF: Last week you won two events and this week you just won three events at Illinois Tech. What is the key to your success?
EL: The key to my success is my team and coaches—see the first question! I also try to keep a positive mindset as well. Some practice days are harder than others, but I always tell myself that you have to have bad days in order to have good ones. Plus, I am always looking to improve and be a better swimmer.
SF: What is your mindset as you roll into the most intense part of the season and conference looming?
EL: To have fun! I have had so much fun this season and made a lot of memories and I am looking forward to make more of them. All of my teammates have talked about how exciting Conference is and I am excited to cheer them on and watch them swim fast.
SF: Have you set any specific goals for this season, if so what are they?
EL: I have not really set personal goals for myself, so I am not sure yet. I am mostly excited to watch everyone do amazing things.
SF: Tell me the story of how you started swimming.
EL: I started swimming when I was five years old and I have been swimming since. I love the team atmosphere that swimming fosters, which makes it a super fun sport.