Get To Know Towson University's Meredith Budner

by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)

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Created April 2nd, 2011 11:07:07 PM

Modified April 2nd, 2011 11:07:07 PM

Towson University’s Meredith Budner is this week’s featured swimmer. Meredith, a senior at TU, recently finished up her career with the Tigers in grand fashion.

At this year’s DI NCAA Championships Meredith placed second in the 500 free (4:34.56) and second in the 1650 free (15:44.26), both of which were school and Colonial Athletic Association conference records.

In this SwimUtopia interview Meredith tells us about what she uses for motivation and how the Towson coaching staff has helped her progress throughout her college swimming career.

What made you choose Towson University?

Towson was the first recruiting trip I went on and I immediately fell in love with the school. After talking with Coach Pat I knew he was going to be the right coach for me. I also liked that it felt like a small school and it was still pretty close to home.

What other schools did you look at during your recruiting process?

I looked at Villanova, George Mason, Delaware, and UMBC.

What places did you come in at this year’s Colonial Athletic Association and NCAA Championships?

I placed first in the 500 free, 400 IM, and 1650 at CAA’s. I didn’t swim the 400 IM at NCAA’s, I did the 200 free instead, and there I place second in the 500 free and 1650 and eighteenth in the 200 free.

Did those results match up with the goals you set at the beginning of this season?

My goals were matched perfectly from CAA’s. The results from NCAA’s were way above the goals I set in the beginning of the year. I was just hoping to move up at least one spot from where I placed last year. It still feels surreal finishing second in two events!

How many All-American honors have you been awarded throughout your college career?

Four, twice in both the 500 and 1650

What is it like training with everyone at TU?

I really enjoy training at Towson. The women’s team is very close knit which really helps us as a team. I think we are all really funny as well; we always try to keep the mood light at practice by cracking jokes and dancing in the water when the music is on. The coaching staff chimes in on our jokes as well. So while we are still working really hard, we are having fun doing it!

Do you have any plans to keep training now that your competitive collegiate career is at an end?

Yes. I actually have the opportunity to compete for Israel in the Olympics, so I am going to be training at NBAC this summer under Bob Bowman. I will be at the World University Games this summer, and there, if I obtain a FINA A cut, I will be able to represent Israel in the Olympics and therefore I will continue training till 2012. If I don’t qualify however, I am unsure if I will continue swimming.

What does the TU coaching staff do to help set you up for success?

The coaching staff at Towson is the greatest. They are there for me no matter what. If I am having a rough day, they are all there to cheer me up. Or if I am slacking off, they get in my face which I know will help me reach my goals. They are all so knowledgeable about this sport and they don’t just care about my swimming they also care about me outside they pool. We have a great relationship which I believe has helped me become successful in this sport.

What has been your most memorable moment with the team?

My most memorable moment with the team was winning our first conference championship. It was the first one that the women’s team won in the history of the program. It was a really neat feeling to know that I helped the team make history for our school.

What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been in swimming?

My biggest accomplishment in swimming was placing second in two events at NCAA’s. When I started swimming in college I always dreamed of just making the meet. It’s an incredible feeling to have come so far and have been as successful as I’ve been.

What are your top times?

200  free- 1:45.36
500  free- 4:34.56
1650 free- 15:44.26
400  IM  - 4:10.67

What would you say motivates you?

I am just a really competitive person and I am always striving to improve. The feeling of accomplishing goals I had set, really motivates me as well. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishing something that you or others may think is impossible.

What are some things that people may not know about you?

Some people find this interesting….. I actually started swimming at age 13. I didn’t do any of the summer league stuff. I had a cousin and a friend who did club swimming and I wasn’t good at any other sports, so I decided to try out club swimming and really enjoyed it. At around 14 I started the summer league, but I didn’t like it because I couldn’t sprint so I kept on losing and that was no fun  Another thing people may not know that I think is funny is that I can only do one pull up.

What is your favorite pump-up band or artist to listen to before racing?

I have a few favorites… Any song from 311 is always good, but more recently I like those funny rap songs like All I Do is Win by DJ Khaled and No Hands by Waka Flaka Flame. They put a smile on my face and keep me relaxed and ready to race.

Do you have any pre-meet rituals?

I don’t really have any pre- meet rituals, but I do have my warm up ritual and stretching behind the blocks ritual.

What records do you hold?

I don’t hold any club or high school records, but I do hold Towson records in the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, 400 IM, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay, and 800 free relay.

What is your favorite food?

Well, my favorite thing to eat is dessert….except ice cream…perfect for a swimmer  I also love pizza. One of my mottos is “eat happy, swim happy”  it’s worked so far!

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

I don’t know if I can name just one… I would have to say my parents and Coach Pat. They are my number one fans and they are always doing whatever they can to help me become the best person I can be. They have been the greatest support system I could ever ask for.

What would you say is the hardest practice that you have ever done?

This is a tough one… there are two that are tied for the number one spot. The first was from freshman year.  The set was 1x 1000 on a base interval of 1:07 1x 2000 on a base interval of 1:05 and 1x 3000 on a base interval of 1:03. I only made the first 1000. The second practice we have a done a few times. The set is 50x50’s all out, off the block on 2:00. This set kills you mentally and physically. Towards the end though, getting out of the pool to get back on the blocks becomes harder than the 50’s because the wall is so high up.

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to take swimming to the next level?

Since I didn’t start out doing summer league, the moment I started club swimming I kept on wanting to improve and make each step to the next level. So it basically happened on its own, I never really had to decide if I wanted to take swimming more seriously.

Please list any other additional information that you would like to share!

I was voted national swimmer of the week after conferences. I was swimmer of the year for the CAA in 2009. I was part of 4 consecutive CAA championships. I recently became an Israeli citizen.