Feb. 21, 2014
Connor Croan (IM/Middle Distance Freestyle)
Hometown: Highlands Ranch, CO
Past Team: Aces Swim Club, coached by Scott Cummings
Accomplishments: Junior National Qualifier
Why did you decide to swim for Minnesota?
I chose to swim for the University of Minnesota mainly due to the people I met. They are genuine individuals. They cannot only help me enhance my swimming experience, but also teach me more about being a good person. It was a great feeling being able to walk on to campus during my recruit trip and knowing that my coaches and future teammates would be there for me in and out of the pool.
What are you looking forward to the most with starting your Golden Gopher collegiate career?
This is a very difficult question, because there is so much I am looking forward to. If I had to narrow it down I would have to say it would be becoming a part of the team. Having an instant circle of friends who understand what you are doing in the pool and in the classroom. It's exciting to think that I am at a stage in swimming where it finally transitions from a primarily individual sport with club swimming, to that of a team sport. I believe that is what I look forward to most.
Thus far, what has been your best or most proud swimming memory?
My most proud swimming memory would have to be when I got my first juniors cut. I remember it quite vividly, in that it was the moment of validation. That all the work and pain you subjected your body to was worth it in the end. I remember that I was nervous the night before, to the point that I didn’t get much sleep, and that only added to the nervousness. I told my coach about it and he told me to just have fun with and relax. So, in the morning I did that, and went a little faster but not the cut. Luckily, I made it back for a second swim that night. I was nervous once again, knowing that I have to swim once more. But I approached it the same way, and I was scared behind the block. It all changed once I stepped up. I went off the block was even on the fly, fell a little behind on the back, and caught up once again on the breast, but the freestyle was what made that race what it was. I was done with having the race rule my swimming career so I just went for it. I passed the two guys that had been ahead of me for a majority of the race like they were standing still, and I touched the wall and saw that I went under 4 minutes for the first time. I had never felt the validation that the journey I took was worth it more than that moment.
What do you like to do for fun besides swimming?
Other than swimming I do a few things, the most prominent would be mock trial for school. Last year it was a criminal case where I was both the lead prosecutor and the defendant at the same time, which was pretty cool. I enjoy reading a lot, pretty much anything, other than a few select books from school that I had no taste for. For those who have seen me play will tell you that I am quite amazing at table tennis. Maybe a little rusty now, but it’s like riding a bike and it comes back to you pretty quick. And of course, just being around friends, going to the movies, dinners, hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range; simple stuff like that.
How do you think you will contribute to the Gopher swimming and diving program?
I am a dedicated and hardworking individual. I don’t give up easily, when it comes to sets, workouts, events, meets, and teammates I will be there. It doesn’t matter if as individuals we don’t see eye to eye, we are a team. I don’t see failure when it happens; I see opportunity to get better. I will bring to the team who I am, and swim my heart out for the team. Hopefully, I will get the occasional smile, or laugh from teammates too, and be a genuine friend to all.
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