Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. So many high school athletes hope to make their dreams a reality and compete at the collegiate level, but in reality, only a select few get this chance. First-year rookie swimmer Caitlyn VonFeldt got this chance and has put her talent on full display as a result.
At Case Western Reserve University, VonFeldt swims both backstroke and freestyle, participating in individual and relay events. Each meet has added to VonFeldt’s first year experience, and in her most recent meet she recorded an NCAA B-cut time in the 100-yard backstroke with a 56.42 time. Each week presents an opportunity for VonFeldt to learn and grow as a swimmer which further unlocks her potential.
These improving times do not come easily though. They are a representation of VonFeldt’s hard work and determination to get better. She recalls her first week of CWRU swimming being extremely tough. The more she swam, the easier collegiate swimming became. Her first meet was where VonFeldt really saw everything come together.
She said, “The first meet was really nice because it was really hyped up. We had a lot of energy from the whole team, so it was really exciting. It was a totally different atmosphere [from high school meets].”
Touching further on her transition to college, VonFeldt didn’t have to think twice about noticing the huge difference in commitment levels. There is a lot more lifting and dry land practice in addition to already having practice in the pool everyday. There is more of a pure dedication in college which VonFeldt loves to see.
Taking a step out of the pool as a first-year student, VonFeldt has not had a good chance to get further involved on campus. However, she is looking forward to doing so. Next semester, she hopes to get an on-campus job and also get involved in research but is unsure of what kind. VonFeldt’s aim is to get actual experience in the field of mechanical engineering through research before graduating.
VonFeldt’s desire for mechanical engineering actually stems from her experiences with biomedical engineering in high school. While there, she talked with the vice president of a local biomedical engineering firm to learn more about the field, and she liked the idea of tissue regeneration. Upon further research into the field, she loved the idea of developing prosthetics, which is more related to mechanical engineering.
Of course, not everything is swimming and academics for VonFeldt. One of her favorite free time activities is going to Constantino’s Market, buying Halo Top ice cream and watching “Stranger Things” with her friends. It is a great way to take a break from everything else going on in a college athlete’s life.
“Happiness is just a state of mind,” VonFeldt said, quoting Walt Disney. “It’s just according to the way you look at things.”