By Jessie Drogemuller, Swimming World College Intern
Each week, every conference releases their male and female swimmers of the week. These swimmers are chosen due to their excellence in and out of the pool. They show that they truly know how to train hard in the water and work hard in every aspect of their life. Over the last few months, there have been two swimmers who have made their appearance on the list quite a few times.
Camilo Mendoza, a Colombia native, has doubled-down and received recognition twice. It wasn't until he was nine years old that Mendoza actually gave swimming any consideration. Once he realized his potential, it became a very important part of his life.
In his first year at Emmanuel College, Mendoza's fondest memory is breaking his first school record. Some of his fastest swims, including those in which he has broken records, have happened at meets where he swam the most events.
One of the first meets he competed in this season was the Brenau invitational."The meet was very hard for me because I competed in many events, but I had very good results."
At conference, he hopes to get closer to his national cuts and "have fun" as his coach encourages them to do every time they get in the pool.
Swimmer of the week is a title that means a great deal to him. This represents how hard he, his team, and his coach work every day. In addition, Mendoza sees it as a good incentive to keep going and focus on his goals.
Abby Harty, a freshman from Georgia, has made a very big impression on her Mars Hill University team this year. Most athletes are lucky to make it on the swimmer of the week list once in their careers, but Harty has been graced with the title six times within her first season.
As someone who was unsure of her future with swimming, Harty saw this recognition as affirmation that this is "exactly where (she is) supposed to be."
Although her list of collegiate swims is short in comparison to what it could be within the next few years, she already has a favorite moment from the season.At the Sewanee Invite earlier this year, she swam an extremely close race and was pleased to find that the girl she out-touched in the 100 breaststroke possessed the definition of good-sportsmanship.
"I didn't go a best time, but I out-touched the girl swimming beside me in the last 25. It was a really fun experience to have an exciting race, and she was a really good sport about it too, which made it all the better."
Harty's thoughts going into conference are nothing but positive. "I am mostly looking forward to just being in the water and racing. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with knowing that you've worked hard, and this opportunity may never come again, so you just have to give it all you got."
Both Harty and Mendoza are looking forward to finishing out the season and finding out just what their training can do for them.