Alumni Spotlight: Kaylee Jamison
July 22, 2014
Alumni Spotlight: Kaylee Jamison
Class of 2011
Hometown: St. Charles, Illinois
Former Gopher swimmer Kaylee Jamison was awarded the B1G Medal of Honor in 2011.
Jamison completed her Gopher career in style by earning All-American honors in three events as a senior in the 100 fly, 200 medley and 400 medley relays. She became the Gophers' first All-American in the 100 fly since 2000 by finishing 15th (53.59) at the NCAA Championships. Jamison earned honors on the Big Ten Second Team and was a member of the Conference runner-up 200 medley and 400 medley relays. Her involvement in the 200 medley relay set a school record of 1:37.37 in the finals. Jamison also set the school record in the 100 fly (52.69) and 200 free relay (1:28.74). She won 13 titles as a senior and is a five-time All-American as well as a two-time Big Ten champion as a member of relays.
In the classroom, Jamison excelled by receiving the 2011 Minnesota Athletics' Outstanding Achievement Award, which is presented to two student-athletes who are accomplished in the four major areas emphasized by the NCAA Student-Athlete Welfare Program: Academics, Athletics, Leadership and Volunteerism. During her Gopher career she was awarded All-Big Ten honors and earned the department's Top 5 award, holding one of the top five GPA's for a female athlete.
"Kaylee was a student-athlete that every program is looking for. She was what a student-athlete is supposed to be," Minnesota head coach Kelly Kremer said. "Kaylee worked with coach Terry Ganley, who did a terrific job developing her as a student-athlete”.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Minnesota?
I have so many great memories at Minnesota, but it always seems like the small moments with my teammates that really stick out in my mind. I will always remember the ridiculous pre-meet dance parties, post-workout hot tub sessions on the days we never seemed to want to leave the natatorium, and sitting in the dorm cafeterias for hours just laughing and thoughtlessly consuming all the calories we could manage. But my favorite athletic memory had to my last NCAA Championship meet. We came into the meet as underdogs and left with a top ten finish and several NCAA titles. I am incredibly proud to be a part of that.
How has being a former student-athlete impacted your life?
Being a student-athlete has given me a unique perspective on everything I do now. It will always be part of my identity. I understand the value of hard work, self-discipline, teamwork and perseverance. When I was balancing academics and athletics in college, I always thought, "If I can do this, I can do anything." Also, I will always carry with me a sense of pride and community for my sport, my team, and my university.
At the University of Minnesota, you are a part of something so much bigger than yourself or your team. There is an unspoken bond between student-athletes here. When you see someone on campus wearing their issued sweatpants or in class with their student-athlete backpacks and tags, there is a certain form of mutual respect you have for each other. Whether it's a wrestler, gymnast, swimmer, or football player you've never met, we are a family.
What did receiving the Big Ten Medal of Honor mean to you?
I owe everything to my coach, my team, and the athletic department at Minnesota. I never would have had the success that I did without the opportunities I had here. Receiving the Medal of Honor meant that during my time at Minnesota, perhaps I was able to give something back in return.
What advice would you give to current members of the women's swimming and diving team?
Passion will take you farther than talent; work as a hard as you can everyday and push yourself outside your comfort zone without the fear of failure. Value your teammates and take pride in what you do. Most importantly - enjoy it.