Nine All-American honors and a total of 184 points — the Pioneer outcome after four days of racing at the 2015 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The seven members of the LIU Post swim team marked the highest school finish ever, placing seventh at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, IN.
“It was the most intense and surprising competition I’ve ever had,” said Carolin Rademacher, the senior breaststroke specialist, who splashed through with five All-American honors. “[I] really did not expect to finish my collegiate career on such a great note.”
Rademacher brought home a silver medal for her 400-yard breaststroke race, and the 200-yard version ended with a personal best at 2:13.61, over a second faster than in her qualifying time, which led her to the bronze.
Two-time national champion Joyce Kwok did not make it all the way for the third consecutive year, but snatched the silver with a personal best of 53.59 in the 100-yard butterfly. Later on, in the double distance, Kwok secured a third place finish as well.
Rademacher and Kwok also teamed up with junior Meghan Brazier and senior Johanna Pettersson in the 400-yard relay competition. The squad raced to a 3:41.79 showing, earning All-American distinctions and fourth place on the run.
The relay teams went strong all throughout the four days. Among others, the 200-yard freestyle event saw freshman Laura Bendfeldt, senior Courtney Delehanty, Brazier, and Pettersson earn a top-10 finish with a time of 1:34.19. The double distance with relay squad Bendfeldt, Rademacher, Kwok, and Brazier polished its qualifying time and finally managed an All-American sixth place finish at 3:24.90.
The team’s accolades did not end in the pool. The determination and mentality of these students led the Pioneers to the best team in the Nation behind the school bench as well. The Pioneers earned the highest GPA (3.71) in the country, according to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, which named the team Scholar All-American for Fall 2014.
For all senior team members, it is time to move on to the next chapter in their lives. Some will have to cut back on the sport that has shaped their years up until this point to make room for new activities. But even though the paths are endless, Rademacher hopes to follow the water.
“Swimming is too time consuming to continue at the level that I have competed in,” Rademacher said. “But I know that I won’t be able to stay away entirely.”
This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.