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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Athlete of the Week Lacey Nymeyer

    Editor’s Note: The Wildcat caught up with junior swimmer Lacey Nymeyer, who won all three of her events in the No. 2 Arizona women’s swimming and diving team’s loss to No. 4 California and one against No. 1 Stanford this weekend at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. Nymeyer won the 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle events against the Golden Bears and the 200y freestyle against Stanford. Nymeyer discussed her performance, the Wildcats losing their first meets of the year and her squad’s pre-meet ritual.

    Wildcat: (UA head coach) Frank Busch said after Cal about you, “”We saw a performance by a swimmer today that I don’t think has ever been duplicated by any woman ever in this program.”” Why do you think he said that and what does that mean to you?

    Nymeyer: I don’t know if it’s any woman ever. There have been some great racers in this program. This program is known for its tough and fierce competitors. I mean, I’m flattered. That’s probably the best compliment anyone’s ever given me. That’s really special, but I don’t think I did anything amazing or out of the ordinary, I guess. I just like to race, and I felt like I had an opportunity to build momentum for my team.

    W: The women’s team posted their first losses of the season last weekend against Stanford and California. What do you think was different about these meets?

    N: I think a big part of it was that we’re all kind of just a little tired from Christmas training, and to get up and race when you are just hurting all over and have no fast twitch in your muscles at all is really hard, and Cal and Stanford are always kind of the hardest dual meets of the entire year just because they are teams that are starting … to swim fast. And this is their part of the season where they kind of start backing off in training where we’re really still getting into it, and they definitely come into our – swimming us – with the mentality that they want to win. I think a lot of teams look at our team and how consistent we are, you know, top three in the nation at the end of the year and look at it as a chance to race one of the best teams in the nation, and they get ready for it.

    W: Why do you think this year’s team will be successful at the NCAA Championships?

    N: This year, especially the women’s team, I don’t know how much I can say for the men, our team camaraderie is unbelievable. We’re the tightest-knit team I think this program has ever seen, and it’s interesting that we’re that tight because we’re so bottom heavy. The majority of our swimmers are freshmen and sophomores, and we only have a handful of upperclassmen to kind of lead it. And, I think that’s very unique, but I think it also brings kind of that raw excitement that freshmen bring into the program.

    W: So, what is that you guys do before each race, the ritual that you all do?

    N: Well, before each meet, before we even come onto the pool deck, we do a team cheer and that kind of gets everyone excited and kind of gets everyone focused on walk(ing) on deck with a presence and let the other team know that we’re ready to race. I think before relays girls will just stand behind the blocks with each other, give each other the eyeball that we’re ready to go. Me, personally, I just like to think about my goals and my team and just kind of look on the other side of the pool and see the other 20 girls standing on the deck cheering for me and know that I’m going to give everything I have for them and know that they’re going to do the same for me when they’re on the blocks.

    W: Can you actually hear them cheering when you’re in the water?

    N: Not so much in the water, but you can definitely see them at the end of your lane, on the side of the pool or even hear Frank’s whistle. Those are about the only things that I try to focus on, and the other racers of course, the other competitors. But that inspires me, that pumps me up – just to see the support of my team, my coaches.

    W: They say that you have the largest fan section at every meet. Is that true?

    N: I’m lucky enough to have almost all my family here in Tucson. So they’re all pretty much Arizona swimming fans, so they – Grandma, Grandpa, (my) aunt and uncle, Mom, Dad, cousins, past coaches, friends from high school, and Eliot. (Jokingly) Eliot Dash, the best manager ever.

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