Highly decorated senior has Olympic aspirations

Senior swimmer Kerrie Kolackovsky has made her mark in the Seton Hall record books. She holds six individual records and is part of four out of the five team relay records.

“The more you believe in yourself, the more you’ll succeed,” Kolackovsky said. “People think that swimming is just physical, but it’s actually mental as well.”

Kolackovsky holds the Seton Hall records in the 100-freestyle, 200-freestyle, 1650-freestyle, 100-breaststroke, 200-breast- stroke and the 200-IM. She is also a part of the team relay record holders in the 400-freestyle, 800-freestyle, 200-medley and the 400-medley.

She has won more than 60 races in her college career and led the team in points in the last three seasons. This year, she won two of the four Big East female swimming and diving athlete of the week awards.

Kolackovsky will compete in the 2014 Big East Champion- ship tournament on Feb. 19-22 in Sewell, N.J., at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

With the Big East tournament rapidly approaching, Kolackovsky said she hopes to take home a championship before she graduates from Seton Hall.

“Big East is in a week so I really hope to win,” Kolackovsky said. “I want to be a Big East champion and become the first female athlete to win in over 20 years. I hope to win a team Big East, and I would probably give up a win for that because it’s just such an incredible feeling.”

Kolackovsky gave a lot of credit to the support from her coaches and teammates for her successes in the pool.

“You need to communicate with your coaches about everything,” she said. “They’re very understanding. My teammates are awesome and always support me behind the block no matter what. It’s a huge support system, and it makes me strive to do well and represent them.”

Kolackovsky said that her greatest accomplishment at Seton Hall came in the 2011-2012 season at the Patriot Invitational when she started her day by winning the preliminary 200-breast- stroke. Then she set the school record for the 1650-freestyle and the 200-breaststroke. She was named the Big East Swimmer of the Meet.

“Always believe in yourself and never doubt yourself,” Kolackovsky said. “The more you believe in yourself, the more you’ll succeed. If you just stay positive and keep striving for your goals, that’s a great message to take back with you.”

As a criminal justice and political science major with a minor in psychology, Kolackovsky wants to get her master’s degree in education and possibly become a counselor.

“I really want to help people,” Kolackovsky said. She coached children as part of a “Learn to Swim” program and also coached a group of older children and said that she would like to continue coaching if she is unable to continue swimming.

“I’m going to try one more summer to make Olympic trials,” Kolackovsky said. “If I do, then I’m going to continue training; if not, then we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll become a coach.”

After college, Kolackovsky said, she still wants to stay involved in the swimming world while balancing a career and a family.

Mike can be reached at michael.romano1@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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