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Men’s Swimming: Overholt leads Irish into Big East trials

Jonathan Warren | Monday, February 6, 2012

With the Big East Championship less than two weeks away, junior Kevin Overholt said this time of year brings back fond memories of last year’s championships.

“Being able to get college best times in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles at last year’s Big East Championship has been one of my favorite college moments,” Overholt said. “It led me to be more motivated this year.”

Having two years of experience under his belt, Overholt said he hopes he will be valuable to a team that includes 21 underclassmen.

“Having done it twice already, it’s going to help me be cool under pressure, especially in the relays,” Overholt said. “I’m hoping last season’s experience will help me achieve personal best times again so I can help the team win a Big East Championship.”

Getting into a position to swim personal best times again this year has not been easy for Overholt, though he has managed to improve in spite of a shoulder injury.

“This season has been pretty difficult,” Overholt said. “I’ve had to struggle with tendonitis in my shoulder. To be able to get a personal best in the [50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle] this season has been really great. I’m definitely looking forward to getting even better times.”

Overholt said his college swimming career has been a progression. The nine-time high school All-American was tabbed as the No. 24 recruit in the country coming into college. Swimming for Neuqua Valley High School, he broke Olympian Matt Grevers state record in the 100-meter freestyle.

“I got a letter from Matt saying, ‘Congratulations, and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do in the future,'” Overholt said. “That has been my favorite swimming memory.”

Yet when the talented swimmer arrived on campus his freshman year, he faced a steep learning curve.

“Once I got to college, I realized there was an adjustment period,” Overholt said. “There was a huge learning curve, and I struggled my freshman year.”

Since then, Overholt has steadily improved, achieving personal best times in each of his last two seasons. Now as a junior he assumes a leadership role on the team to help guide the 16 freshmen that face the same learning curve this year.

“I think it’s really important with such a huge freshman class to set an example in and out of the pool,” Overholt said. “Out of the pool, I’m thinking about how I conduct myself and act around other teams. In the pool, it’s important to train hard and do what the coaches ask of you. I’m sure they’ll do phenomenally at Big East.”

With another regular season behind him and visions of personal best times ahead, Overholt said his aspirations do not end at the conference championship meet.

“We all expect to go our fastest at the Big East Championships,” Overholt said. “Hopefully from there, I can go to nationals.”

The four-day conference championship meet begins Feb. 15 in Pittsburgh.

 

Contact Jonathan Warren at jwarren3@nd.edu