Kayla Smith, a sophomore
on the Pepperdine women's swim and dive team, tells us why she chose to
transfer to Pepperdine and why she feels the swim and dive team is so special:
Q: Why did you choose to transfer to Pepperdine?
A: I chose Pepperdine because it is close to home and I really missed being at a Christian school. I also wanted to be more challenged with my education and when I visited Pepperdine in high school, I loved the atmosphere.
Q: How does your last school, Lynn University, compare to Pepperdine?
A: I had one of the most memorable and fun years of life living in South Florida and attending Lynn University. I made friends that will last a lifetime and I learned how to live on my own, being all the way across the country, but it wasn't the perfect fit for me. I wanted to look back at my college years being challenged by hard curriculum and loving swim. Due to this, I made the decision to come to Pepperdine and I love it here.
Q: How has your first semester been going?
A: My first semester at Pepperdine has been extremely challenging, I have never had so much homework, or been in a lecture hall where my professor doesn't know me. It's definitely different and challenging, but I knew what I signed myself up for when deciding to transfer. Swimming has been amazing this first semester at Pepperdine, I love the team and the coaches. I have found my passion for swimming again and love going to practice and training with my teammates who push me. The sets are challenging, but fun at the same time. The girls are always cheering for each other and staying hyped. The team atmosphere is the best I've ever experienced.
Q: How have you connected with the girls on your team so far?
A: I have connected with the girls incredibly. I feel like they are my all my sisters. Considering it is a huge team of 40 girls, I feel like I genuinely know each and every one of them and can go to them for anything! I feel so lucky to have the opportunity of training and being a part of this team.
Q: How are the coaching styles different at Lynn versus at Pepperdine?
A: At Lynn, the coaching style was distance workouts with quality, with hard race sets four times a week. Lynn was very different in the sense that we never did drills or stretching. At Pepperdine, the coaches care a lot about the team camaraderie and each and every person as an individual. School is important to the coaches here at Pepperdine and acknowledge swimming comes second. The coaches know when to push us but also balance that with when we need recovery.
Q: What are your personal goals for this season?
A: My personal goal for this season is to break a minute in the 100 butterfly and go best times in my events at conference. Although I want to swim fast, I also want to have a blast!
Q: A3 is a big meet and is coming up next week. How are you feeling about it?
A: Next week for A3 I am feeling confident and excited to suit up with a tech suit and race. It's been a while since I've suited up, since February actually. I am anxious to see what I can do with the change in training/coaching.
Q: What can we expect from the swim and dive team for the rest of the season?
A: You can expect the best results from the swim team this year. Everybody is really working hard not only in the pool, but also in the weight room. I've been hearing all the girls say how the team is better than it ever has been and we can't wait to see what we can do!