Mackenzie Gray | Fulcrum Staff
Meet Carolyn Cook, a first-year student in ethics and society and a rookie on the swim team. Cook grew up in Canada and has moved back home after attending high school in New York State. Here, she’s already making Ontario University Athletics (OUA) times.
The Fulcrum: What are some of the expectations you have as a team and for yourself?
Carolyn Cook: We’re hoping to come third in Canadian Intercollegiate Assoction (CIA) this year, instead of fourth from last year behind Guelph, so we’re really excited to try and move that forward. Personally, I’m hoping to continue to get CIA times and see what happens with that.
What are some of the things the coaches have done to make you a better swimmer?
Since the beginning, they’ve been really adamant about team orientation and what we want as a team instead of what we want as individuals, because they’re new to us as well, so we did a lot of team building activities, rookie day, and a bunch of things to get us together as a team. I think I definitely respect the coaches more now than at the beginning.
How are you handling school?
Great. It’s been a hard adjustment, but I’m getting used to it now. I’m learning the different things like going to class and studying on your own time.
What’s been the biggest change for you?
Having to do everything on my own. There was always someone there to tell me what to do or help me. I’ve always had my twin sister and we’d build off each other. I don’t even have a roommate anymore.
Your twin sister goes to McGill University, why don’t you?
She’s a musician and she wanted to go for music, and that was specifically the one program she wanted to do, so I knew that she was going there no question. She didn’t really think about going anywhere else with me, and I knew that I couldn’t swim at McGill, so it was either go to McGill and not swim or come to Ottawa and do what I want to do, so that’s primarily the reason why we split up.
You’ve already managed OUA times as a rookie. How did you manage that?
OUA times as a rookie are hard to get, mostly because as a rookie you’re not supposed to get those times. You’re supposed to be a fourth year and work your way up to those times. I just did it without knowing about it, but I think it was because I haven’t raced in two years, so I had no expectations, nothing. I had no idea what was going to happen. I just kind of went for it.
Why’d you come back?
To be honest, I didn’t know what to do with my time. I’ve been swimming since I was eight years old and I’ve never not had things to do. I’ve always had a structured time.
Was it difficult to get back into proper shape?
Yeah, it was rough the first three weeks. I thought, “I can’t do this.” But it’s gotten a lot easier since.