Junior Cat Sweigart medaled in all three of her individual races in her first swim meet back since the pandemic started. That effort recently earned her the honor of the women’s ODAC swimmer of the week.
Sweigart, a mass communications major with a minor in graphic design from Bridgewater, Virginia, was not sure where she wanted to go, but she knew that she wanted to go where her swimming career could continue.
“I had always known I wanted to go to a smaller school, so when my coach reached out to me my senior year I knew I wanted to take a visit. During my visit, I loved the small, community feel, and I loved how at home I felt on the campus. I also really enjoyed talking with my coach and the goals he had in mind for me,” said Sweigart.
After almost a year of delay of swimming due to COVID-19, Swiegart was able to get back into the pool. The year long break due to the pandemic was her longest break from swimming since she started swimming at four years old.
“It’s relieving since it’s been so long,” Sweigart said. “My season last semester was not ideal, so I came in really hopeful.”
Skinner talked about Sweigart’s journey from freshman year to now, on how her freshman year ended on a high note, however sophomore year results were not what they hoped for. He stated, “if she keeps pushing herself and working on a few technical things in her swimming she will no doubt leave ODAC with her head held high.”
Sweigart was hesitant to get back in the water as she said she felt rusty from the break due to the pandemic, but that was not going to stop her. Her honor assured her that she was a valuable player to her team. Coach Skinner seconded this, saying that, “Cat brings a lot to our program, from her natural leadership skills, to her extreme focus and work ethic in practice and weight room sessions.” Along with her leadership skills, Sweigart is a valued team member; “She’s not afraid of challenges thrown at her during practice and is always encouraging her teammates,” Skinner said.
Although Sweigart’s E&H lifestyle largely revolves around swimming, she also participates in other groups across campus. She has been a sister of Delta Omicron Pi since spring 2019 and became a sweetheart to Beta Lambda Zeta in Feb. 2020.
During the spring semester of 2020, Sweigart was a supplemental instructor for the mass communications beginning publication and design class, giving her an opportunity to present her leadership skills in and out of the water.
As the 2021 season comes around, Sweigart mentioned, “my senior season is looking hopeful. I am hopeful that things will be feeling a little bit more normal by then in regards to COVID-19 too. I am definitely interested to see how the switch to DII goes and what that will entail, but I am feeling better and better in the water every day and hope that will transfer over into my senior year as well. I have a lot of goals that I want to achieve and am ready to work hard to see if I can make them happen.”