The Ultimate Goal
- By Grant Dovey
- January 19, 2012 11:10 AM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - With his final season on the West Virginia University men’s swimming team winding down, Taylor Camp is working harder than ever to accomplish his dream of making the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.
After placing second in the 200 fly and sixth in the 100 fly as a sophomore at the BIG EAST Championships and then winning the 100 fly and finishing the 200 fly ninth as a junior, Camp found himself a half-second short of qualifying for the NCAA championships.
“After missing it by a half-second for the last two seasons, I’d be pretty disappointed to have it happen again,” Camp said. “I think this year we could also make it in on a relay, so it would be a big deal for me if I could make it in on a relay and individually.”
Camp is a member of Coach Vic Riggs’ first full freshman to senior season recruiting class, and has seen the team develop into one of the top in the BIG EAST.
“Vic and I were just actually talking about how we were his first full class to go from freshmen to seniors and that 10 of us all made it,” Camp said. “I’ve gotten to know all the guys really well, but it’s gone by a lot faster than I thought.
“Our class started the base, we were able to focus more on high quality guys and making sure we had enough guys to fill a squad, that’s the biggest difference.”
Swimming is a sport that has become more serious to Camp after spending months at a time in high school not swimming at all.
“I took a summer off and it took me two or three years of swimming before I got back to the times I had before,” Camp recalls. “Taking those three months off hurts a lot more than you would think.”
To get back to the top level, Camp has had to make changes and has had to raise his work ethic. After spending his freshman season as a freestyler and backstroker, Camp was asked to become a butterfly swimmer. Fortunately for Camp there was a big support system in place with his coaches and help from a former BIG EAST Champion, Pablo Marmolejo.
“It helped that I got to train with Pablo my freshman and sophomore seasons,” Camp said. “With him being the butterflier he was and me gaining weight, I was able to break through and it helped me to become a strong flier.”
As the championship season is now upon him, Camp will continuously think about the hard work he has put in for four years and use that as motivation to reach his ultimate goal, the NCAA championships.