The St. Ambrose women’s swim team will soon be missing a valuable team member due to graduation this winter.
Senior Kelly Baughman graduates Dec. 18. After commencement, she starts SAU’s Occupational Therapy program. Baughman’s teammates say she’ll be remembered as an inspiring leader with a kind personality.
“She’s an outstanding young lady, one of our team captains, and she’s very versatile,” said Coach Robert Miecznikowski. “She can do fly, IM, sprint, free. She’s actually really stepped up this year during the 100 free and this weekend she’ll be on our 4×100 free relay. Good team leader and just all-around great athlete and a good representative for the university.”
Coach Miecznikowski, Coach Ski to his swimmers, chooses people who he believes lead by both example and by voice as team captains, something he says Baughman does a very good job at.
“Leading by example is probably the most important, being able to get in the pool and exhibit all of those behaviors, showing up on time, doing the hard sets the way they’re supposed to be done,” Coach Miecznikowski said. “She’s just a good representation of the university as a whole. Including in the classroom too.”
The season has been going well so far for Baughman, and her personal goals for the remainder of the season include dropping time and making sure she is mentally and physically ready.
Baughman began swimming at seven years old. She says it has taught her many valuable lessons over the years that she applies to life as a whole.
“Yeah you’re going to go through some tough times but how do you handle that, how do you adapt from it, and it’s kind of like swimming too,” Baughman said. “Yeah you’re going to have a bad event but how do you come back from that and how do you put your mindset to the next one is going to be good and just let it go”
Her main events include butterfly, freestyle, and motivating her teammates.
“Kelly brings a positive attitude and a hard work ethic,” said teammate Tori Thorne. “She’s always motivating people and she’s always there for people, when they have a bad swim she’s the first person to give them a high five and saying it’s ok you’ll get it next time.”
The swim team next competes at the Williams Baptist Invitational in College City, Arkansas on Dec. 10.