You don't have webbed feet. So why do you think you're so good at swimming?

I listen to my coaches. We practice eight times a week [for an hour and 15 minutes each session with Spy]. Twice a week we have two practices before school starts and one after on the same day. If you don't listen, you practice the wrong things over and over and you do it wrong. We "dry land," work in the weight room twice a week. At Dartmouth next year, every practice will be two hours.

Why did you choose Dartmouth?

I want to do something with my life other than swim. Swimming got me there. It could be another reason why I'm dedicated. I got my acceptance letter last Thursday.


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Do you have a goal for this season?

I really want to make winter senior nationals. I have to qualify for them and my times, after junior nationals last week, are close. I'm just 0.6 off in the 100 fly and two seconds off the cut for the 200 fly. It's just a matter of working harder on perfecting my strokes and endurance so I can do well later in the races.

If you could have a do-over in anything in swimming or in life, what would it be?

I don't know that I would want to do anything over. I got in to Dartmouth, where I wanted more than anything to go, and swimming helped me do that. I love everything about the school — the atmosphere, the area it's in [New Hampshire], where I can go skiing, which I love to do. And the academics. It's an Ivy, so it's known for its academics, but it's not academics or die. It's not competitive within itself. The students there seem to know how to transition easily between work and play.

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

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