This week TSL sat down with swimming sensation Alex Lincoln PO ’14 to talk about her success in the pool, team bonding, and her travels during her time abroad. The Palo Alto native and biology major has been a key part of the Pomona-Pitzer women’s swimming team for the past three years, winning the team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award last season; she looks poised for another great year in the pool.
TSL: How did you first get involved with swimming?
Alex Lincoln: I probably started swimming when I was around four, and started competitively swimming when I was six. It was just a summer league at my local swim club. That was a lot of fun. My dad swam in college and definitely wanted me to at least know how to swim. Swimming caught on for me at a really early age. I’ve basically been swimming ever since.
TSL: Have you or do you play any other sports?
AL: I was on the water polo team here for two years, having played for three in high school. When I was younger I played all sorts of sports, a lot of land sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, track … you know, the works.
TSL: What events do you compete in?
AL: I’m a sprint freestyler.
TSL: Is freestyle your favorite stroke?
AL: Yes, definitely.
TSL: Do you have a most memorable meet?
AL: I don’t know if there’s one meet specifically, but every SCIAC conference meet is definitely super memorable, not only for my swims but for the swims of all my teammates. It’s such a high-energy meet and everyone swims really fast and has really good attitudes. It’s just really a competitive, awesome, happy, and energetic atmosphere. I’ve been to three of those so far, so those are probably my three most memorable meets.
TSL: What awards have you won for swimming?
AL: Two years ago I won the 100 and 200 free at SCIAC. This last year I won the 200 free and our 800 free relays. Within the team I’ve been the swimming MVP for several years. I made the NCAA B-cut last year but didn’t quite make the cut to go. That’s what I’m shooting for this year, either individually or in relays. Going with a relay would be really fun because you compete more as a team. It would be so exciting.
TSL: Do you have a favorite post-meet or pre-meet meal?
AL: I’m a sucker for pasta. Pasta at any time of the day is good. I don’t know if this is a favorite, but I always have a bagel and fruit before meets.
TSL: Do you do anything for team bonding?
AL: We do a lot of stuff. The men’s side has their own crazy stuff. But on the women’s side, we do a lot of stuff around the holidays when we’re all here over winter break. We do some Secret Santa type stuff, we have a scavenger hunt, and then all SCIAC week we have a set of traditions. Each graduating year does different things. Freshmen do some sort of activity, sophomores do another, juniors, seniors … We make little gifts or CDs for the bus rides, stuff like that, cutesy artsy things.
TSL: Did you study abroad?
AL: The fall of my junior year I went to Edinburgh, Scotland. It was really fun. It was also really cold and dark, which I did not expect. But it was beautiful at the same time. I got to swim on the University of Edinburgh team, so I made some good friends through that and learned a little more about what swimming in other cultures is like. It was different; a lot of their training philosophies were not what I was used to. I think it ended up being good for me in the end because I had a really strong season last year coming back from being abroad. I was also able to do a lot of traveling.
TSL: What were your favorite trips while you were abroad?
AL: The Scottish highlands were absolutely gorgeous. I also really liked Barcelona. My best friend actually went to Scotland with me so we were travel buddies. We went to Barcelona together and it was a great time.
TSL: What are you looking forward to this season?
AL: I enjoy pretty much every aspect of the season. But SCIAC season is definitely the most exciting for me. I’m really looking forward to SCIAC relays, specifically. We have a really great time this year and I think we have a good shot of dropping some really nasty times.
TSL: Any final words?
AL: I want to give a shout out to all of my teammates, both past and present, who have been doing stellar jobs so far this season, and have been pushing me to my limits every day. I really can’t imagine being on a team of greater people—we work hard and play hard. I really do love my team.