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February 22, 2010

10 Questions with Swimming and Diving’s Rachael Foe

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Senior Rachael Foe and the Northern Arizona swimming and diving team travels to San Antonio, Texas this week for the biggest meet of the 2009-10 season—the WAC Championships. Foe is the most experienced WAC performer and has been a consistent top finisher at the championship meet. She recently answered 10 questions about life as a Northern Arizona University Lumberjack.

1. Since you are from Michigan, what made you decide to come all the way out to NAU?

I loved my recruiting trip and the girls on the team. I liked the outdoors aspect of Flagstaff. It just fell into place and clicked for me going to some of the classes and getting to know the campus. Flagstaff in general is really cool. Where I’m from the town is bigger and the culture is different so it was a big change. Also, it is always sunny!

2. Being a senior, what would you say if you could go back and talk to yourself as an incoming freshman?
I don’t think I would say anything. You kind of learn a lot of stuff along the way. It all turned out pretty good. I don’t think I would change it.

3. After graduation where do you see yourself ending up? Do you plan on staying out West or traveling back home?
I probably want to stay in the Southwest. I like the sunshine and the outdoors, and I really like the area. I really don’t know where I am going to end up but it will probably be out here somewhere.

4. What has it been like working for the NAU Grounds Crew? It is not the most glamorous job on campus.
My boyfriend works for grounds so I maybe first got into it that way. The people are great there and I get to work outside. I planted a lot of bulbs this fall—that was cool. It also gives me a chance to give back to NAU. It’s a fun job. We pick up trash and get to make things look nice. It makes you feel good.

5. You are an avid hiker. If you could recommend a hike in northern Arizona what would that be?
It is always good to get Humphreys (Peak) under your belt. You can look up anytime and say, ‘I climbed that!’ I do a lot of hiking in Sedona. It is warmer during the winter months. There is a lot down there—maybe Cathedral Rock because it is easy and accessible. It is definitely a good first-time one to do.

6. In swimming, you spend a lot of time in the water by yourself. What do you think about?
You kind of go into Zen mode, but you have your teammates around you so you get to talk to them. A lot of times songs get stuck in your head or other random stuff. T.J. (Williams) and I like to bounce songs off each other a lot. She is the main song person on the team. Sometimes I have to sing slow songs so I can slow my heart beat down, that way I can relax and just do the set.

7. What has been your favorite team-building exercise?
We went out to the woods with Bert (Gershater) one time and one of us was blindfolded and one of us was not. You had to lead the other person verbally and talk them through every step. It was an opportunity for us as a team to gain trust with one another.

8. What is the funniest moment you can recall throughout your NAU swimming career?
The most I ever laughed was the first year Dave (Rollins) was with the team. We were in his van on one of our road trips to San Diego. We did not stop laughing the entire time. I don’t know what was involved and can’t really remember but it was a really fun trip.

9. What have you learned about yourself these past four years?
There has been a lot. I think one thing I learned this year was I do better when I am not thinking super hard about something. I put too much thought into things sometimes and press too much. I realized I am so much better when I do things and don’t think. I couldn’t change right away and got frustrated. Then I realized things take time to change. That was the main thing this year, but overall swimming has given me so much that I took for granted. This time last year I was thinking, ‘Man, I have never had a real job. When I get out there I am not going to have that experience. I don’t know all the stuff I am supposed to know.’ Then I realized swimming has given me so much more than any job could in terms of time management, discipline, hard work, and getting along with people. To have that in my life has been very valuable.

10. The Winter Olympics are going on right now. Has anything grabbed your attention?
I have been watching here and there. I liked watching the skier guy from Canada win the gold in the moguls. Some of the figure skating I watched. I watched some of the couple’s free skating, but they all kept falling.

Last year, Foe won gold at the 2009 WAC Championships in the 200 individual medley setting the NAU record in the process. This season, Foe set the pool record at Wall Aquatic Center in 100-meter butterfly (1:03.48). She holds the seventh best 50 freestyle time this season (23.99) and sixth fastest 100 butterfly time (56.83) in the WAC. The WAC Championship meet will begin Wednesday, February 24 and run through Saturday, February 27.

DID YOU KNOW ... The student-athletes recorded a 3.0 GPA overall for the fall semester, the fifth time in the last six semesters the department has had a 3.0 or better GPA for the semster.