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Walker; Redbirds Prepare For Conference Championship

Written by on February 16, 2022

Image courtesy of goredbirds.com

NORMAL, Ill. – Sophomore swimmer Diana Walker recently opened up about swimming and how she got her start.

Choosing a college can be a difficult task for anyone and when it comes to athletes and the recruiting process that decision becomes an even harder task. For Diana, she talks about why she chose Illinois State University and how ISU was different from the other schools that she was talking to.

“I just felt like The coaches really wanted to talk to me and during the recruiting process they would call me a couple times a month and just check in on me…. It was really easy to talk to them and  They differed from all the other schools I was talking to because it didn’t feel like I was talking to somebody that was a lot older than me. It felt like I was talking to somebody that the conversation kept going on. I would talk to Caitlyn like a hour just chatting about anything and it was really nice”

Everyone has their own way they started their sports.  Swimming is sport that difficult and relies a lot on ones body.  Then for the four major strokes choosing a stroke to specialize could be difficult as well, for Diana choosing freestyle wasn’t hard to do.

“I actually started swimming when I was six years old at a summer pool and we swam all the strokes at this summer pool and I just fell in love with freestyle. I just loved doing the 25 freestyle when I was 8 and under, when I got a little bit older I still loved doing freestyle. Then actually  when I got to high school my coach was like we think you should start doing distance freestyle in addition to sprints freestyle. So I kinda just grew up being a freestyler and I never really worked any other strokes” Said Walker

Athletes take a lot of time and effort into practice and race. Each athlete rituals before an event is different. For Diana she brought up what she does before a race that she is in.

“I honestly when I’m sprinting I kinda focus more on my using legs and just having a faster heartbeat and getting my heart rate up before I get in the pool. Then for distance, I mostly focus on having a higher rate for a longer time” said Walker 

This season, Diana Walker personal best  has been 5:12.07 for the 500 Freestyle and for the 1000 Freestyle is 10:41.07. For the upcoming MVC championship, Diana shared her hopes for the meet and what the goals for the team are.

“I would really like to place in the top eight in each of my events, and I would like if I’m on a relay to place in the top three of each of my relays that I’m on. Then as a team, I think we just want to keep working hard, showing the Missouri Valley Conference what we’ve been doing for the past six months and keep moving up in the standings and hopefully get a little higher than we were last year.

The MVC championship is on Wednesday February 16, 2022. Following the MVC championship, between March 7-9 would be the NCAA Zone Diving Championships.