By DANA REYNOLDS – STAFF WRITER
After training all summer with Georgia Tech, junior swimmer Hadley Judson has high hopes for this season.
“If everything stays on track I think that she is setting herself up for a special year,” head swim coach Dean Brownley said.
Originally from Atlanta, Ga., Judson began swimming when she was eight years old for a summer league.
It was not until her sophomore year of high school that she decided to take swimming to the next level and join a club team.
Judson fell in love with swimming and did not want her career to end after high school.
“Once I started club swimming and began to drop time the thought of swimming in college started to become a real option,” Judson said. “I knew that I wanted to go to a small liberal arts college in the South and Centre fit all of my requirements. I really liked Coach Brownley and the team. As soon as I stayed on campus, I knew Centre was where I wanted to be.”
Through her hard work and dedication, Judson has proven to be a crucial member of the team.
Her first year, she was a part of the 800 Freestyle Relay that qualified for the NCAA championship. The relay snatched 16th in the nation and received an All-American Honorable Mention.
“I really like Hadley’s work ethic,” Brownley said. “She came in as a first-year and worked hard. When she made it to Nationals on the 800 free relay it took her confidence in practice and at meets to a whole new level.”
Assistant coach Nick Thompson also believes Judson is poised for a breakout year. “She works really hard in the pool, but what really sets her apart from other swimmers is her work outside of the pool. She adds training to her daily routine and manages a healthy diet,” Thompson said.
After studying abroad in Strasbourg the fall semester of her sophomore year, Judson was able to come back and help the Centre College Women’s swim team to win the conference title.
“Winning conference on both sides was probably the most memorable moment I have had with the Centre team so far,” Judson said. “We came together as a team and achieved our goals. It was such a bonding and inspirational moment. I hope that we keep the momentum going this year.”
As a sprint freestyler, she mainly swims the 100 and 200 freestyle. Judson’s overall goal is to help the Women’s team snatch the title again this season, but she also has goals of her own.
“I would really like to go personal best times in my events at conference and hopefully make it back to NCAA’s,” Judson said.
“For this to happen I will have to go above and beyond at practice. Even though practices are really hard, I love the feeling after I finish an exhausting practice because I feel such a sense of accomplishment. I will also need to push through the ups and downs of the season.”
For Judson, swimming is something she hopes to be involved in throughout her entire life.
She is a History and English double major with plans to go on to earn a Master’s degree in secondary education.
She wants to go back to Atlanta to teach high school and coach swimming. She will be taking the skills and disciplines she learned through swimming with her to succeed in the future both in
and out of the pool.
“Swimming has become a part of me and has helped in so many different aspects of my life,” Judson said. “It is the perfect way to stay in shape. It is the best way for me to clear my mind when I am feeling overwhelmed and it has taught me to manage my time.”