Making a splash
Roberts’s hard work earns her America East honor
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Swimmers begin their week by rising with the sun, sometimes even before it.
Monday, at 5:10 a.m., Jennifer Roberts gets up and bikes from her Edgewood Road apartment to the Field House. She and her teammates run for half an hour, and then get in the pool for another hour and a half before leaving for breakfast. After class, she’s back in the pool at 2:30 p.m. for another two hours.
Tough as it is, she’s back at it on Wednesdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays differ; the women’s swim team lifts in the afternoon for an hour, and then they’re back in the pool for two hours. Friday’s workouts are just in the afternoon, and Saturdays are nice, Roberts said, as she is able to sleep in until 7 a.m.
It’s grueling work, but such dedication is what it takes to become the America East Women’s Swimmer of the Week.
“It’s pretty neat,” Roberts said. “My coach texted me on Tuesday before practice, saying ‘Congrats on the award!’ I think it’s nice to be recognized for my hard work.”
Excited, Roberts just wishes her team could share in the glory.
“It’s too bad they don’t do a team of the week or something,” Roberts said.
Roberts secured the honor after her stellar performance at UVM, as she helped UNH bring home the victory at the meet on Oct. 20. UNH beat UVM, its America East rival, 188-114 in their second meet of the season.
Roberts said she came to the meet feeling not as strong as she did at her previous meet, which was held during UNH Homecoming against Boston College. Practice that week was rough, and the charge of competing at home with parents watching was lacking; but support from her teammates helped her get in the game.
“Our team gets along so great,” Roberts said. “Their attitude helps so much.”
Out of the four events Robertswon this past Saturday, threindividual. She took the lead in the 200-meter freestyle, one of her favorite events, as well as the 100-meter freestyle, and assisted in the Wildcats’ win in the 400-meter free relay quartet.
“I remembered that there’s this really good 100-meter girl on [the UVM] team,” Roberts said. “I was just like, ‘I got to beat this girl.’”
But her greatest triumph came in the individual medley event. Not only did Roberts take the gold; she shattered a UVM pool record with a time of 2:06.21.
“It was pretty cool,” Roberts said. “We broke a pool record here [at UNH] last week. I don’t know if I ever broke a record before that.”
Part of the thrill of the record, Roberts admits, is that when she returns to UVM, she’ll see her name on their walls.
It’s a good start for Roberts. A junior economics major, Roberts just transferred to UNH this year after her previous school, the University of Maryland, cut several of its sports programs. Roberts said they gave her a choice: finish out the school year and continue getting the scholarship, but stop swimming, or transfer.
Roberts is looking forward to her next meet on Saturday, where the women’s swim team will face off against Northeastern. It’s their opponent’s first meet, so they don’t know what to expect, but Roberts said her teammates have a goal: to have an undefeated season.
“We just need to go in with the mindset that we need to swim fast,” Roberts said. “We’ll show them what’s up.”