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TEN QUESTIONS WITH MEGHAN SACKETT
Meghan Sackett has broken four individual and three relay records in her first season as a Retriever.
Q: Why did you decide to leave
Meghan Sackett: I left
Q: Why did you decide to come to UMBC?
MS: I wanted to come here because I wanted to be closer to home. I grew up with Tom [Himes, assistant coach]; he was my club coach for six or seven years. He was a main contributor to why I came here, because I did want to swim for him again. Probably the happiest Iíve been in the pool is when Iíve been swimming for him. Also, being in the club scene, I did grow up with
Q: Whatís the biggest difference between the two schools?
MS: The closeness, the bonds. Even when I first came here on my tour, it was a close-knit family, you were involved. Itís something that you donít experience at a big school.
Q: When youíre swimming and youíre so far ahead of the competition, do you ever feel like slowing down?
MS: Never. I know that I wonít be that person in every race. I know that Iíve worked for whatever accomplishments Iíve got, and Iím just going to keep going after them.
Q: Whatís it like to look up at the records on the wall and see your name there so many times?
MS: Itís amazing. Iíve swam in this pool since I was little, and growing up I always thought my name would be up there one day. Itís so satisfying. But I know how much work I put into it.
Q: Swimming is more of an individual sport. How do you maintain the team unity?
MS: You have to go out of your way. You have to know that youíre a teammate and youíre a supporter of everybody else. As a team, we schedule things outside of the pool Ė we have dinners or we go to the movies. Itís important because it is individual and people do fall behind.
Q: You swam at North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) with Olympian Michael Phelps. Talk about your relationship with him.
MS: He was actually my best friend growing up through NBAC. But at the same time, he was my idol because of his determination. His social life was limited just like mine, so we kind of came together. We wanted to go to the Olympics. We had the same dreams and the same goals.
Q: Talk about swimming at the Olympic Trials in 2004.
MS: It was so nerve-wracking! Iíve been swimming for 17 years and I didnít swim with my goggles in the 800 [meter freestyle] at Olympic Trials. I was so nervous that I forgot them. Overall, the general sense of being there was amazing.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence throughout your career?
MS: My parents. The lessons that Iíve learned from them, I have so much respect for them knowing how much money, how much time, how much extra effort they put forth for me and swimming. When I wanted to quit, the motivation factor, the time management; they know that Iím stressed, they know that Iím tired, but they donít ever give up on me. I just appreciate so much that theyíve given me. Itís hard to show it by swimming laps, but I hope they know.
Q: What are your goals for this season?
MS: I want to be back at the NCAA Championships, and I want to be a finalist in more than one event. For the team, I know that we can win the conference. I want the team to know that we need to stick together and have the same goal and not forget about it. I feel that we need to stay positive and just keep going.