TAMPA, Fla. – Injury and illness kept Maureen Moore from last year’s national championships, so there’s a lot to look forward to this month.
The 21-year-old missed last year’s national qualifiers due to injury and influenza. This year she qualified for the NCAAs in the 500 yard freestyle with her time of four minutes, 57.39 seconds.
She will also compete in the 200 and 1,000 yard free.
“I am exited. Last year I really wanted to make it, but I had an injury and flu and a lot of circumstances that prevented me from getting in,” she said, at practice last Friday. “And this year I feel like I could finally show my training.”
Going to college from the Tampa Bay Aquatics Club had upped her performance.
“I think the workload definitely increased and I think I am swimming faster now. I noticed in certain events,” she said. “I do wish that I could drop more (time) with how much … swimming we are doing every day, but I can see that clearly I feel stronger and I am faster now.”
University of Tampa coach Jimi Kiner praises her Moore’s talent and brains.
“She is really smart, she works really hard and really cares about what she does in and out of the water,” he said.
“Those certain aspects she takes a lot to heart. It really kind of pays off the way she cares about swimming and the way she cares about how she composes herself day in and day out.”
Slovakia could be an option for the Spartans’ athlete, who is thinking to take a break from competing after school in order to focus on other activities.
“I am an international, I have a dual citizenship (Slovakian). I could continue swimming for Slovakia, but I want to see what else I can do in life and I want to move on from swimming,” she said.
That doesn’t mean she dislikes swimming, but there are other things. Still, another shot with the national team would be fun.
“I have not competed in Slovakia for two years now but when I did, I did well in 100 and 200 meters free. Last year I did not go because I had to stay for school midterms.
“But this year I definitely want to go and win,” said the 21-year-old.