Oct. 30, 2012
GopherSports.com sat down with a few of Minnesota’s freshmen swimmers and divers. This week's edition is Columbus, Neb., native Ryan Miksch. Swimming with Columbus High School, Miksch was a four-time Nebraska State High School Champion in the 50 and 100 free and was a 2012 Olympic Trials Qualifier. Last weekend, Miksch finished fourth in the 50 free and 100 free against Wisconsin. Below is a short question and answer session with the rookie.
Gophersports: What is your favorite part about the U so far?
Ryan Miksch: Oh man, I like everything. I especially like the team and the coaches for swimming, they’re both great. We have our own little family, so that’s been a really comfortable feeling.
GS: Was it a tough decision to leave your home state and come to Minnesota?
RM: It wasn’t really an easy decision as far as deciding which college to go to. I definitely felt comfortable here, which obviously is the reason I’m here. It was a great decision, probably the best decision of my life.
GS: How has the classroom transition from high school to college been?
RM: It hasn’t been too hard. I came from a pretty hard college prep school, so they prepared me pretty well for college. It’s still a lot of work. I have to study a lot, but it’s nothing overwhelming.
GS: Do you know your major?
RM: I want to do engineering but I’m “undecided” right now.
GS: Head coach Kelly Kremer talked about how you had to commute 45 minutes to get to the pool in high school. How great has it been to be able to walk to the pool now?
RM: It was actually close to an hour and half. The club I swam for in the summer was in Omaha, which is an hour and a half away, so if I would go down on a Monday I’d spend a night or two with a friend and come back on Wednesday. It’s pretty nice being able to walk to the pool here.
GS: What was one of your favorite memories either at the high school or club level?
RM: Probably getting my first Olympic Trials cut in Stanford. I missed it in a prelim, so I was kind of mad. Then I didn’t make finals, but I time trialed it and knew I had a shot at it. I actually got the trials cut, so I was pretty happy. It was pretty sweet, junior nationals is a pretty intense meet but it’s a fun meet to go to with my team. There were about three other guys, so it was fun.
GS: Do you have any individual or long-term goals at Minnesota?
RM: I just want to help out the team as much as I can with points and swim in as many meets as I can. Individually, I have some times that I want to try to hit at the end of the season.
GS: What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t in the pool?
RM: I just like to relax. I don’t get a ton of free time in college, but when I do it’s really nice just sitting around.
GS: Did you play any other sports in high school?
RM: In high school, I ran track for three years and cross country for one year.
GS: What are you the most excited for as this season kicks off?
RM: I was just excited to get here and start training with all the guys. I trained by myself quite a bit in the summer. When I was at my club, I would train either by myself or with my sister or another guy, but not very many people. I was just really excited to get to the team and start practicing with a whole bunch of guys, really fast guys who would be great to practice with every day and would make me better. That was probably one of the things I was most excited for.
GS: Do you push each other?
RM: Everybody’s really fast. Every day, if you’re not at the top of your game there is somebody else that’s going to be able to push you there.
GS: What is the biggest change from high school to college swimming?
RM: So far, just a lot more intense and a lot of guys that care. In high school, you’d have those guys that were lazy and didn’t care. In college, you can’t really get by with being lazy. Just the attitude and intensity of all the guys is probably the biggest change.
GS: Anything else you want Gopher fans to know about yourself?
RM: Glad to be a Gopher, glad to be here.
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