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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Miller reflects on USC rivalry, Notre Dame legacy

Mike Todisco | Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Notre Dame’s rivalry with USC hits close to home for Irish senior Amywren Miller, whose older sister Kammy was a Trojan swimmer from 2003-07. But Miller doesn’t see her sister as an enemy, but rather as a motivating factor.

“My biggest inspiration has always been my sister,” Miller said. “She was a swimmer too, and I always wanted to be as good as her, if not better.”

In her junior season, Miller equaled her sister’s greatest accomplishment when she was named an All-American for the first time in her career. Kammy had earned the same honor as a freshman in 2003.

Her impressive résumé of accomplishments while on the Notre Dame team does not end there. She has represented the Irish at the NCAAs in each of her three seasons and she was named the team’s most valuable player last season. Miller also became the fastest sprinter in program history when she broke the 50-meter freestyle record in her sophomore season and reset the same record as a junior with a time of 22.30 seconds.

She sees her success as a testament to her determination and perseverance.

“Self-motivation enabled my success at ND,” Miller said. “No one can motivate you more than yourself. Reflecting back on my time here as a part of our team, I have seen my mistakes and learned from them. I have become a better teammate and athlete because of this and it has allowed me to succeed in ways I would not have otherwise.”

Beyond personal accolades, Miller said the Notre Dame identity was a key aspect of defining her time on the swimming team. She said that the best part of her experience her as been “being Irish.”

“The tradition and experiences here are unlike any other university,” Miller said. “Representing Notre Dame at our competitions is so much fun because we already have such great school spirit.”

Miller also said that her teammates, especially her classmates, have made her time on the Irish squad unforgettable.

“Being a part of this year’s senior class is something I can’t describe,” Miller said. “Becoming what we are today took a lot — a lot of learning, a lot of laughs, a lot of success and some failure too. It also took a lot of growing up. But doing all of that together is what makes us so close. The experiences I have had with our class are some that I won’t ever forget.”

As she looks forward to the end of her time here at Notre Dame, Miller has set personal and team goals.

“The best accomplishments for this team have yet to come,” she said. “We have won Big East for the past 14 years and sometimes it can feel like a tradition. What we all want is something more. We want our team to be seen on a national level. We want to be able to take more girls to NCAAs each year and score more points as a result.”

On a personal level, Miller hopes to leave a legacy of success and a winning tradition at Notre Dame.

“My goal is to leave my footprint on this program,” Miller said. “Coming into Notre Dame we had such a strong class and I think that is still true today. We want to walk away from this all knowing that we left our mark and started a new wave of success.”

Miller and the Irish return to competition Dec. 2-4 as they compete in the U.S. Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.