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ND Women’s Swimming: Maxwell focuses on legacy

Michael Todisco | Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Senior standout Samantha Maxwell’s accolades over the past three years speak for themselves, and it looks like she’ll be adding to her résumé once more this season.

Maxwell earned an invitation to the NCAA championships in each of her first three seasons on the Irish squad and was named an All-American her past two years. In her sophomore year, she was named the team’s MVP and the Big East’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.

Although her list of honors is impressive, Maxwell measures success by more than individual accomplishments. While she still aims to represent Notre Dame at the NCAA championships this year, having her teammates join her there would make the achievement that much sweeter.

“Since my freshman year it has always been Amywren Miller and I, and we would love nothing more than to walk on deck at the NCAA championships with a team beside us,” Maxwell said.

Besides leaving her own legacy at Notre Dame, Maxwell hopes to leave the Irish squad with more than just personal awards.

“Since it’s my senior year I want to be able to leave our swimming program with people who are going to outshine my own accomplishments.”

Not only does Maxwell root on her teammates but she also views them as a key reason for her own success. The tight-knit team dynamic of the Irish team has enabled her to persevere through long workouts and stressful situations throughout her college career.

“We all have our days where practice isn’t at the top of our list of enjoyable activities, but having coaches and teammates that are there to push me and who want the best for me helps me a ton,” she said. “Nothing makes a practice go by faster than being able to laugh and joke around with teammates.”

Outside of her teammates, Maxwell views her family as a main source of support and encouragement. She credits the values her parents instilled in her for much of her success.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family,” she said. “Growing up, they taught me what it means to have a true work ethic and it has only served me well so far in life. We have a running joke in our house that my dad and I are both ‘too stupid to quit.'”

Maxwell’s superb work ethic is manifest in the goals that she sets forth for herself and for the team. She said she wants to win a 15th consecutive Big East title and she would like to lead the team into national prominence.

“Although the thought of winning another championship is always present, I think our team is really trying to set its sights on the NCAA championships and moving our program to the national scene,” she said. “By doing this, winning another Big East title will only be a stepping stone to greater accomplishments.”

Maxwell and the Irish are well on their way to another victorious season. Notre Dame opened the season with a win at the Dennis Stark Relays before traveling south for strong showings against perennial powers LSU and Auburn, despite falling in both meets. Maxwell was one of two Notre Dame swimmers to post a win in the three-team meet. She believes that the meet against the two SEC opponents set the stage for team and for her personal success later in the season.

“We went into the meet against Auburn and LSU as the underdogs,” Maxwell said. “It was really just a chance for us to practice racing quality opponents while at the same time seeing what progress has been made since the our last meet. Although it was a loss on the scorecard, we gained a lot of valuable knowledge moving forward.”

Maxwell and the Irish will next hit the water when they travel to Michigan State on Oct. 29.