April 7, 2009

Katy Freeman: A Great Example

Senior is an All-American and two-time NCAA qualifier


All-American Katy Freeman
is completing her degree
in Sociocultural Linguistics
this spring.

UCSB student athletes are a special group of young men and women, who also serve as great role models to the many fans and youth that support them in athletics and in everyday life.

Every day more than 450 UCSB student-athletes compete in the classroom, compete in their respective sport and give back to the community.

This week's Great Example is women's swimmer Katy Freeman. Freeman, a graduating senior from Concord, Calif., is currently completing a degree in Sociocultural Linguistics and is joining Teach for America this fall in South Louisiana.

Described by her coach Gregg Wilson as "extremely focused and organized both in the pool and in school", she has completed a four-year swimming career with an array of accolades, including being named Big West Freshman of the Year and earning First Team All-American honors her senior year. She currently boasts school records in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays, and qualified for the Olympic Trials this past summer.

While she excels in the pool, Freeman also thrives in the classroom where last year she won the Golden Eagle Ring Award, for possessing the highest GPA among all female athletes at UCSB.

Wilson added, "She is an excellent example for our younger swimmers and will always do extra to be the best she can be."

Freeman took some time to answer a few questions about herself.

1. What is your favorite part about going to UCSB?
It's the best of all worlds for me - rigorous academics, high-level athletics and a friendly and beautiful atmosphere.

2. What made you decide to join Teach for America next year?
I have a passion for learning and realize how fortunate I have been to have had all of the educational opportunities I have had in my life. Now I feel that it is time for me to share my love of learning with others who don't have the same opportunities that I had.

3. What are you going to miss most about swimming for the Gauchos?
Everything! My teammates, my coaches, the excitement and atmosphere of swim meets, and the pride that comes with finishing a really tough practice.

4. What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend a lot of time napping, but when I'm awake I love to read and do crossword puzzles.

5. What has been your biggest accomplishment while swimming here?
Representing UCSB athletics on the national level - at the US Olympic Trials, the NCAA's and the US Open.

6. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I have a lucky towel and lucky shoes that I won't race without.

7. Who is your biggest role model?
Every member of my family is a role model for me in a unique and important way.

8. What has been your favorite class at UCSB?
Italian classes and Linguistics 132.

9. What is one thing about you most people do not know?
I am terrified of fish.

10. Gregg Wilson said you are an excellent student, how do manage to excel in both the pool and in the classroom?
Really strict time management and focusing on one thing at a time.

11. What has been your biggest challenge in your four-year career here at UCSB?
Keeping motivated in my training and not letting myself get discouraged after a disappointing meet or swim get me down.

12. If you couldn't swim, what other sport would you want to play?
Well, I did synchronized swimming for eight years so I would probably go with that. I don't function well on land.

13. What is your best memory from your four years here?
Winning Big West four years in a row - there's nothing like celebrating with your team after all that hard work pays off!

14. Is there any motto that you live by?
"No one ever said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it."

15. In one word how would you describe UCSB swimming?
Family.

16. If you could go back and change something from your four years here, what would it be?
Nothing, everything happens for a reason.

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