Women's Swimming Q&A: Kelly Presper

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Senior swimmer Kelly Presper tells us about the PCSC Championships that started today. She talks through the prep work the team has put in, and also about her four years here at Pepperdine:

Kelly  Presper

Q: How did preparations go for the PCSC Championships?

A: We are just getting to the end of our taper right before conference starts. We started about two weeks ago. When we taper, we ramp up the swimming and the number of yards a couple of weeks before conference, and then leading up to conference, we hold off on the number, so we aren't tired going into the biggest meet of the year. Our taper has been awesome this year. I think the team has really taken the bull by the horns and is motivated to do well at Conference.

Q: What races will you be swimming?

A: I will be swimming the 100 IM, 200 IM and 100 breaststroke. I am really excited for the 100 IM being my last race this year. It is the race that I began swimming when I was 8 years old, and now to be able to swim it in my final collegiate meet will be awesome. This is the first year that the conference has allowed the 100 IM in the meets, so it is awesome to have it be the final race of my career.

Q: What are your personal goals for the conference finals this week?

A: This week, I just want to swim as best as I can and leave it all in the pool. You are always trying to go for best times, and this is definitely the meet to accomplish that.

Q: You said that you have been swimming since you were 8 years old. Why did you choose swimming as a sport to compete in?

A: It's actually a pretty funny story. When I was young, my next-door-neighbors were signing their kids up for swimming and convinced my parents to do the same. I started swimming at the local YMCA during the summer. I quickly realized that there was a difference between the kids who swam year round and the kids who only swam during the summer league. I told my parents that I wanted to be as fast as the kids who swam year round, so I also started swimming year round.

Q: As a team, what do you feel are the goals for the meet, and how confident do you feel that they will be accomplished?

A: I think that our goal as a team is to swim as best we can. We have been working so hard this year. We are such a young team, so I think that being able to keep the spirits high during the meet and swim as best as we can will be the ultimate goal. We as a team are much more focused on supporting each other than the results. We want to keep the team spirit up and keep the morale up. As long as we do that, the results will fall into place.

Q: As a senior this year, what has your leadership role been like? Has it been difficult to be the leader that the team has needed?

A: I don't think that fulfilling the leadership role has been too tough. As a senior, being able to see the girls grow so much this year has been so rewarding and so much fun. The leadership role wasn't so much having to push people individually, but rather to bring the team together and compete to the highest possible level that we could.

Q: This is your final meet as a Wave. What have these last four years meant to you not only as an athlete, but also as a person?

A: So much. Last night, I was trying to comprehend everything that has happened the last four years, and I couldn't put it in to words. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been a student-athlete here at Pepperdine and to be able to represent Pepperdine the past four years. I have been given so much and have been able to take so much from the knowledge of my peers.

Q: After all is said and done with the PCSC Championships, and your final meet as a Wave is completed, what do you think the emotions will be like?

A: Right now, I am excited to end this chapter of my life. I think that I will always keep swimming, but I am ready to go to conference, perform as best as I can and leave it all in the pool. I think I just want to go out as best as I can. I definitely think it will be bittersweet. I will definitely grieve about it later on, but for now, I am excited about the next four days.

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