Swimming in wins

Caitlin Husted

There’s a moment in life where you finally achieve that goal you’ve been working on. Sometimes it can takes years, but it’s all worth it when you’ve put it that last amount of effort before achievement. For Caroline Lodovisi, her moment happened this year.

Freshman commercial music major, Lodovisi was named Rookie of the Year and All-Conference in Millikin’s swimming.

“It feels absolutely fantastic, mostly because of all the hard work I put in this season,” Lodovisi said. “Thankfully it all really paid off.”

Growing up in Crown Point, Ind., Lodovisi began her swimming career when she was eight-years-old in a community club, and has kept her love of it ever since. During her time in Indiana, she fondly remembers the times when she attended age group and state meets nearly every year at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

As her love for the sport grew, she knew she wanted to swim at a collegiate level. When it came time to look into what college fit her and her dreams, Millikin quickly popped up onto her radar.

“Millikin was the perfect balance of academics and sports,” Lodovisi said. “It felt like home from my first moment on campus.”

It didn’t take her long to know that her decision to attend Millikin was the right one. She quickly grew to love the team and her teammates through practices, meets, tips and other various activities.

Lodovisi’s teammates had only good things to say about her as a person and as a swimmer.

Senior English writing and English literature double major Tess Adamonis said, “When Caroline joined the team this year I knew she was going to do great things. She has the type of work ethic that makes practice fun and yet she can still get all her work done.

“Since she was a flyer I never had many practices with here but it was still amazing to watch her improve throughout the year. It takes a lot for a freshman to work her way up to the top seed in her event the 200 Fly. Going from high school sports to college is always a challenge, due to a new area, coaches, and routine. However Caroline took this in stride and made herself a better swimmer because of it.”

Emily Nielson, senior English writing and English literature double major and relay teammate with Lodovisi, said, “Caroline is one of the most dedicated swimmers that has been on the Millikin swim team in the past four years. She has amazing talent and will do amazing things for the team and the program. She lights up the pool with her infectious smile and her upbeat attitude.”

The Millikin women’s swim team finished the 2016 CCIW Championships on Saturday, Feb. 13. Millikin women finished sixth, with Lodovisi bringing home All-Conference honors in the 200 Yard Butterfly. She also earned the title of the third fastest time in the 200 Fly in Millikin history. In addition, her 59.71 seconds in the Women’s 100 Yard Butterfly earned her the fourth fastest time at Millikin.

Her solo races weren’t the only events worth remembering. The Millikin women’s relay team – consisting of Lodovisi, Shelby Kobs, Emily Nielson and Sami Battle – finished fourth in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, fifth in the 200 Yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:51.40, setting a new Big Blue record, and fifth in the 400 Medley Relay with a time of 4:06.27.

The 200 Freestyle Relay – including Lodovisi, Kobs, Sabrina Cipolla and Battle – set another school record with a time of 1:40.97. Not a bad way to start off her collegiate career.

Next season, Lodovisi hopes to win the 200 Butterfly, beat the Millikin records 100 and 200 Butterfly and go to Nationals in either of those events.

She knows that reaching these goals will require a lot of dedication and hard work during the on and off season. When practices become hard and her energy wavers, Lodovisi has a few tricks to keep her going.

“Whenever practices get hard I just look up to the record board in the pool and remember what I’m always shooting for,” Lodovisi said. “I tell myself to take a breath, relax, focus on one set at a time, and make sure I give it my all every yard of the practice.”

As Lodovisi relishes her wins and prepares for the many in her future, she has some advice for her fellow students; “Stay positive and believe in yourself. Sometimes you may be on the younger side of the competition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish great things.”