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Calvin swimmer prefers being all wet
By Jeff Febus
Mara McGuin - click photo to enlarge image
Mara McGuin transferred to Calvin to get back into the pool.

Mara McGuin would rather swim than row. As a freshman on the crew club team at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, McGuin realized she would rather be in the water than rowing on top of it. A standout swimmer at River Forest High School in Oak Park, Ill., McGuin decided to transfer to Calvin two years ago in order to get back into the pool.

"I really missed swimming during my first year of college," said McGuin. "I was at a Division I school at the time so I knew that my chances of swimming at that level weren't very good. I knew that Calvin was a place where I could have that opportunity."

McGuin's fit at Calvin was immediate, particularly among the swim team.

"The atmosphere on our (men's and women's) teams is very supportive. I found that out right away," she said. "I was accepted immediately and treated like I had been a member of the team all along."

McGuin also fit immediately into Calvin's lineup as she filled slots in the butterfly and IM events. At the 2001 MIAA Championships, McGuin took third in the 200 IM and 200 butterfly along with a fifth place performance in the 200 butterfly earning a spot on the All-MIAA team. Her efforts helped Calvin finish with a first place total of 552 points as the Knights captured their first-ever MAA title.

"Winning the MIAA title was awesome," said McGuin. "It was a total team effort and I think that the unity of our team played a big role in our team's success."

McGuin cited the team's training trip to Florida over Christmas break as important in the bonding of the team. "We were training in an outdoor pool and the weather while we were there was unusually cold. It was around 50 degrees at times so we really had to motivate each other to keep training. When you see your teammates doing it, it helps pull you along and that is what we did when we were down there."

As a junior this past year, McGuin came up with another All-MIAA campaign capturing the league title in the 400 IM with a time of 4:46.94, surpassing her time from the year before by nearly three seconds. She also finished third in the 200 IM (2:14.36) and fourth in the 200 butterfly (2:20.89) while swimming on Calvin's MIAA champion 400 freestyle relay team and its 400 medley and 800 freestyle relay teams that finished second.

McGuin's marquee event—the 400 IM—is also one of the most demanding. "You get pretty tired swimming the 400 IM," said McGuin. "The thing I like about the event is that it has four different strokes. That allows me to concentrate on making the switch from stroke-to-stroke rather than on how fatigued I am."
A business/communications major at Calvin, McGuin also qualified for the NCAA III Championships as a member of Calvin's 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams. "Going to the national meet will be a new and exciting experience," she said. "I'm fortunate to have been on our relays with great teammates surrounding me."

"My experience at Calvin has been wonderful and I am glad that I decided to give swimming another chance," she continued. "I did not realize how much I missed the sport until I was away from it for a year."

Women's Swimming & Diving

Calvin's Swimming Community
Chimes, 1/11/02

MIAA Championship
Photos from the meet


MIAA Swimming & Diving

 

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