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The huddle

September 22, 2016

Half Time Talk: George Washington Swimmer Lucy Castro

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We caught up with Lucy Castro, a long distance freestyle swimmer for George Washington University, who is a sophomore from Tennessee, but wasn’t always committed to her current school. She was one of the many who were affected by the Western Kentucky Swim team scandal, where they ended up losing their program completely, and many swimmers were left without a team.

We all know that recruiting is supposed to help you get a feel on what the team is really about, and how they do things. But its always a huge possibility and fear that they are sugar coating and/or lying about some of the issues they may be having, just to get an athlete to commit to their school. Lucy therefore has a lot of experience with both good and bad recruiting experiences.

Accomplishments: 2015-16: Took home 23rd in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2016 Atlantic 10 Championships (Feb. 21) with a time of 17:48.43… Swam a season-best 1,000-yard freestyle time of 10:26.59 against Georgetown (Jan. 16)…Finished first in the 200-yard butterfly against Towson (Nov. 7) with a personal best of 2:09.39.

How did you begin your recruiting experience?

I began my recruiting experience the summer of my senior year. I never sent any emails to any coach or tried to get my name out in anyway, which I probably should have done, but it was at the advice of my head coach at the time. I was recruited by a couple of different schools, but I was really looking for the option that was close to home and still D1.

What were you looking for in a school?

I was looking for a strong swim team where the kids were friendly and somewhere that the coaches took academics seriously. What happened in the end of your recruiting process? After I signed for WKU in November, I found out through various news sources that the program had been cut for the next five years.

How did you find out?

I found out what happened to WKU from a Group Me with the other girls in my class. Various news sources and my club coach then confirmed it at the time.  I got an email from the school that night that said that they would revoke my NLI. I didn’t hear from the head coach until 3 days after the fact.

What did you wish you knew before you committed there?

Looking back at everything, I feel as though the head coach already knew that the program was in jeopardy but didn’t come forward with anything because he didn’t want to lose his job. I wish that I had been warned of any big things (suspensions, team history, etc.) that the team was going through before I committed in the fall.

How did you move forward after this devastating event?

I thankfully had my parents to be my rocks and help me keep my chin up and tell me that we would figure it all out. I also had people (friends, coaches, parents of friends) who were able to help me and get my name out to teams that still had space left on their rosters. My worst-case scenario choice was taking a gap year since I would still only be 19, if I did.

Do you have any advice for future collegiate student athletes going through recruiting?

Everything happens for a reason and it all works out in the end, so try not to stress yourself out too much. I am a religious person and I think that God has a plan for us all and things not working out at WKU brought me to an amazing school filled with so many amazing people and the best swim family that I would not otherwise have.

What is your pre-race song?

My pre-race song is “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Even though this is a kind of over-played song, it has stuck with me the most because my mom first played it on our way to my brother and I’s first ever swim meet. I was 8 or 9 at the time and I honestly couldn’t understand what he was saying (nor did I know who Eminem was), but I felt like a total B.A. for getting to listen to Rap Music and the last line “You can do anything you set your mind too” is something I always come back to.

Why did you choose swimming?

I choose swimming because I was really uncoordinated (and still am) and I just really liked being in the water. I liked that everything was still and quiet when you went all the way down and sat on the bottom and the fact that you could feel your sweat.

Image: thelistpilates.com

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE