Student swimmers make a big splash in the pool and in the classroom

By Cory Lamz & Dian Sun

It is hard enough to be a college student, but when you add 18 hours of swimming practice every week, balancing everything can be even more stressful. The members of the DU swimming team, however, continue to be successful in swimming and college life, as they juggle their many responsibilities.

Even now, as their swimming and school schedules are slowing down, these student-athletes still look fondly on their swimming experience.

“I can’t imagine my life without swimming,” said junior Robin Lindgren, a junior Digital Media Studies and International Studies double-major. “ Since I’ve been doing it for so long, I get used to the life as a hard worker. ”

Lindgren is one of three swimmers on the men’s team known for his ability to juggle homework with swim practice. Lindgren’s friend and fellow swimmer Robert Barrett, a junior psychology and sociology major, is also known for his commitment to this balance.

A male swimmer on the DU swimming team dives into the pool during an afternoon practice.

“Our schedule is pretty tight every day, I can’t imagine my life without swimming,” said Barrett, the captain the men’s swimming team for the 2012-2013 school year. “I usually wake up at 5:33 a.m., and I will push [the snooze button] till 5:37 a.m., get up and I greet Robin at the hallway and we walk together into the cold and swim from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and then have our breakfast.”

Kyle Milberg, a sophomore math and chemistry double-major, was named the men’s team’s most valuable swimmer and received all-academic honor titles this year. Like Barrett and Lindgren, he is very dedicated to his studies and swimming.

“I go straight from practice to class and class to practice, and not go back till 9 p.m.,” Milberg said. “Knowing that I have practice in the morning is extremely hard for me. But you really got to get your priority straight and get work done as soon as you get it – and don’t procrastinate it, that is the biggest thing.”

Despite having such a strong control of their academic and sports lives, these swimmers still sometimes have a hard time managing the demands of being student-athletes.

“Spanish is one course that is tricky, because lots of my classmates got to go abroad so they cemented the language,” said Barrett. “I am kind of struggling, you know, to get my Spanish fluency done while they just champ it.”

Though they may face some difficulties, these student-athletes understand well that they should be prioritizing school and homework before practices and swim meets. Head coach Brian Schrader emphasizes this notion on a regular basis. As such, the team has received national recognition for its hard work and high team GPA.

Head coach Brian Schrader emphasizes academics with the swimming team.

“Our men were number one for the highest GPA in individual swimming, and that’s the second time that happened in our program,” Schrader said. “It’s fun to say it is a tradition.”

The student-athletes, who spend at least one hour studying after practice is over, agree that excelling at academics is a beloved tradition.

“As a student-athlete at the University of Denver, [your priority] has to be school, swimming and then social,” Schrader said.

Lindgren agreed that Schrader’s influence has helped him manage everything.

“Our coach always has high expectations for swimmers, so it is also a great tradition for us to be a hard workers in school,” said Lindgren.

2 Responses to Student swimmers make a big splash in the pool and in the classroom

  • Taylor Cedarholm
    Taylor Cedarholm says:

    I think you guys did a really nice job of collecting interesting b roll that matched up with the interviews. I also think the story was easy to follow and all of the athletes really covered most aspects of the life of a college swimmer. Overall i really enjoyed the video and i can tell you guys put a a lot of effort into it. Nicely done.!

  • Brian Lupo
    Brian Lupo says:

    Great job on the video and story! I thought everything matched really well. The b-roll was also awesome, especially the guy waving at the end, that was a nice touch. Also I liked the angle of the story. I remember freshmen year one of my friends was a swimmer and his workload was insane. Also it was coll to learn that our swimming was number one in academics. Nice job, you definitely worked really hard on this.

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