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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2019

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Q & A with UMW swim sensation, Dallas Tarkenton

Q & A with UMW swim sensation, Dallas Tarkenton


The University of Mary Washington men’s swim team was crowned the Capital Athletic Conference champion for the 16th year in a row. As the only Eagle representing the men’s swim team at the NCAA Championship meet, junior Dallas Tarkenton is determined to make his mark in all three of his races this week. Tarkenton will be competing in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, and 200-yard butterfly.

This is exactly the kind of opportunity the communications and digital studies major has been training for since stepping foot into the Goolrick Pool his freshman year. Heading into the final days of his third season with the team, Tarkenton is as focused as ever. Tarkenton finished in 38th of 46 in the 200-yard Individual Medley on Wednesday.

He will be competing in the 100-yard butterfly on Thursday and the 200-yard butterfly on Friday.

Q: Where are you from, Dallas?

A: Richmond, Virginia. I attended high school at St. Christopher’s School.

Q: How old were you for your first swim race?

A: The first race I really remember was when I was 8 at a summer league championships meet. I won a gold medal for the 25-meter backstroke. After that meet, I felt that I would always be a swimmer.

Q: Why did you pick UMW to swim for?

A: I looked at a few other swim programs, but once I came to UMW I was sold. Coach Abby has been the greatest thing to happen to me for my swimming. My team has also been an amazing support group. “The Swamp”(Goolrick Pool) felt more like home than any other place.

Q: Out of all your swimming accomplishments, which one are you most proud of?

A: Making the NCAA National Meet has always been a huge goal for me. It was such a big accomplishment for me to make the cut this year. The past few years I’ve had to grow and change so much, so to finally achieve the first step into a long list of goals has been my favorite accomplishment so far.

Q: Do you have any role models?

A: I have a couple role models. My father has always been a big influence on my life. He continues to motivate and support me with my swimming goals, and I have always looked up to him for guidance and advice which he has always done in the greatest way possible. My other big role model, who I get a ton of teasing over, is Alex Anderson who graduated last year. Alex took me under his wing and guided me as a swimmer and as a person, and I will always be grateful for all the advice that he has given and continues to give me.