Oregon’s club swimming team competed in the nationals on April 24th-26th this season in San Antonio, Texas. Senior Lindsay Miller, sophomore Emily Collins and freshman Maddy Griffin were the top performers.
Before competing in nationals, Miller was sick. She was throwing up and coughing. She didn’t know if she would be able to compete in nationals.
“Honestly going into (nationals) I didn’t think I was going to do well,” Miller said, “and I was still able to go from lifetime best at nationals.”
Along with Miller, who finished top- 10 in six events including a 4th place finish in the 50 yard breaststroke. Collins placed top 10 in two events including a 9th place finish in the 100 yard backstroke. Griffin finished top 10 in two of her events including a 7th place in the 200 yard breaststroke.
Before attending the University of Oregon, Miller use to swim in division 2 at California State University, East Bay. During her time there, she would train for 25 hours a week and saw no improvement. She started to feel burnt out but once she transferred over during fall term 2012, this team changed her mind about swimming.
“Honestly this has been the best team I’ve been on at University of Oregon,” Miller said. “When we go swimming, we really bond and I’m really gonna miss that because I’m graduating in June.”
This will be the last season for both Miller and Collins, as Miller is set to graduate and Collins is set to transfer to Sacramento State to be closer to home. This will leave Griffin as the only top performer from nationals heading into the 2015 season. Griffin was also able to compete in nationals through some adversity.
“I think I could have done better if I hadn’t broken my ankle,” Griffin said. “I didn’t do horribly, I was only a couple seconds under my best times so I think I performed decently.”
Collins wasn’t completely satisfied with her performance during nationals as she was about two to three seconds off from matching her personal best time in all of her events.
Collins prepared for meets by eating a lot of carbohydrates like pasta every night for dinner leading up to the meet. For nationals, she ate a family sized lasagna every night leading up to nationals.
Griffin describes her preparation for meets as “turning into a slow for a week.” Griffin would get as much sleep as she could. She also waits for a long time before shaving her legs and arms for the night before a meet.
Before nationals, the team competes in five meets. Miller would prepare for nationals by swimming in all five of those meets.
“We are just trying to have people swim as much as they could,” Miller said. “Get a feel for how well they are doing and go to nationals and see what they are capable of.”
The preparation for all three swimmers would make their trip to nationals the most memorable of the season.
“There were 11 of us that flew down and for 4 days we all got to really know each other a lot more and spend more time with each other in the pool,” Miller said.
For Griffin, bonding with the team was what made nationals special for her.
“That was the point where we all got really close, was at nationals and watching mean girls, that was fun,” Griffin said.
For Collins, she appreciate the laid back atmosphere that the club created during intense times. Through swimming, she has made a plethora of friends in both Oregon and California.
“I’m going to miss Monday dinners at Qdoba and Thursday night Jenga,” Collins said. “Just being apart of a team and having such close friends I can always count on.”