By TREVOR YOUNG
In this age of political and cultural tension nothing can be so refreshing than to come together and celebrate the achievements of the extraordinary individual. Let this be the case for Jeffrey Leckrone, a UMW swimmer, whose qualification for the NCAA Championship in Indianapolis is a major achievement. Being the only swimmer from Mary Washington representing the school at NCAA is not easy, but Leckrone is determined and prepared. His coach, Abby Brethauer, expressed her pride in Leckrone’s work ethic and zeal.
“Jeffrey qualifying for NCAAs is a huge accomplishment and we are all so proud to have him representing the team and the University in Indy,” said Brethauer. “Training solo really makes you realize how important your teammates are to your success, but Jeffrey has done a great job keeping his focus and setting himself up for a successful meet at NCAAs,”
Now that the season is over Leckrone has to train alone, which definitely changes the dynamic of practice, as Brethauer said. Leckrone took the opportunity to describe the new challenges he is facing in his private training sessions.
“It’s especially tough without teammates to push me, Swimming alone is incredibly difficult and this experience has really made me appreciate my teammates so much more. It’s nice having a lane to myself but with no one next to me in the other lanes it’s really tough to get motivated sometimes,” said Leckrone.
Even though Leckrone will not be competing alongside of his teammates, he will hardly be alone at NCAA. Accompanying Leckrone to Indianapolis will be his family, girlfriend, and her mom, who will all be cheering him on by the poolside. Not only that, but as Leckrone competes he goes with the goodwill of everyone here at Mary Wash as our ambassador to the NCAA. In a statement, Leckrone returns the love to UMW, which he says he will be proud to represent.
“It feels great supporting this school, I represent UMW with a lot of pride and it is truly an honor. Without this school and this team I can’t imagine who I would be,” said Leckrone. “My environment here, especially on this team, has made me into someone that I am genuinely happy to be. Representing UMW at this meet is just a small way I can give back for helping me become a better swimmer and person.”
Swimming at UMW has helped Leckrone grow as a person, and as his swimming career progresses he is finding himself reaching new levels of excellence. As a new generation of scholars prepares to leave UMW and takes stock of everything they’ve done and learned over their years in Fredericksburg, we can all find something to relate to in Leckrone’s story. Like all of us, UMW has helped refine and prepare Leckrone for the world.
“Even just last year, going to this meet and competing was not something I imagined I would be doing. I feel like I should be more nervous than I am but I’ve been reminded by my many coaches and friends that I have put in the work and deserve to be there just as much as anyone else. I feel confident that I can perform well and make the most of this experience,” said Leckrone.