Dec. 8, 2009
Senior swimmer Ashlee Edgell has made a splash with the Irish during her career at Notre Dame. The BIG EAST Champion competes in the 200 back, 200 breast, 200 IM and 400 IM. A team captain in 2009-10, the Cincinnati, Ohio native is a pre-professional studies and science business major. Edgell sat down with UND.com to tell us a little more about herself.
1. Why did you decide to come to Notre Dame?
My junior year of high school I came for a visit on campus and I just fell in love. I thought it was a good balance between academics and athletics and that is what I was looking for.
2. What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
I am just excited to end my career with a bang and go out on a good note. Obviously I would like to bring back another BIG EAST championship and I hope our team can make it to the NCAAs.
3. Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions?
I really don’t; if I focus on my races too much beforehand I get too nervous so I just like to go out there and have fun.
4. Who did you look to for inspiration when you were growing up?
My older brother, Justin. He has been through a lot of orthopedic surgery so he inspires me. He helps me get through the hard times.
5. What has been your favorite venue to compete in?
At the end of my sophomore year, the Olympic trials were held in Omaha. They had built the pool in a basketball arena so it fit about 15,000 people and it was nearly full, it was really cool.
6. What is the most difficult part of balancing academics with athletics?
I think time management. I actually find myself balancing my time better in season than out of season, but it is the biggest challenge.
7. What do you do to relax after a meet?
One of my favorite things to do is watch a movie on my couch and fall asleep; it is just very relaxing.
8. What sports other than swimming did you play growing up?
I tried gymnastics, but I don’t have very much land coordination so I decided to throw that out and stick with swimming.
9. What are you studying here?
My major is pre-med science-business.
10. Do you have a favorite professor or class you have taken?
Professor McKenna’s human ethology. I recommend it to everyone.
11. What do you hope to accomplish after graduation?
I am planning on applying to medical school, and I am looking into doing emergency medicine.
12. How did you first get into swimming?
My mom always told me I never wanted to go to swim lessons so she put me on the swim team because there were requirements there. I just fell in love with it; it is so serene in the water. No one really understands it until you get into it.
13. What did being named captain this year mean to you?
It was a great honor to be named captain of a Division I sports team. It is a lot of fun to be a representative of our program. I think we are on the rise and it is great to be a part of that.
14. What activities besides swimming do you enjoy?
Just hanging out with my roommates. I have a weird obsession with Beyonce so I listen to a lot of her.
15. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
There was a book my uncle gave me called If I’d Known Then What I Know Now (by J.R. Parrish). It is just a bunch of people who wrote in stories of what they have learned throughout their life and it is a really great book.
16. What is the most important advice you have gotten from a coach?
That you can learn a lot from swimming, not just about the sport but applying lessons learned in the sport throughout your life.
17. What is the best Halloween costume you have ever worn?
One time I wore a leopard print leotard to try to look like Beyonce, and obviously I did not look much like Beyonce but that was the best I have come up with.
18. What are your expectations for the team in the upcoming season?
We have been training really hard and we have had a great season so far. We are always hoping for a BIG EAST championship, and ultimately I think we can take a lot of girls to the NCAAs this year. We want to break into the national scene.
19. Having been swimming on a collegiate level for so long, what advice would you give to freshmen coming to the team next year?
You should take it day by day; it can be difficult to look at the big picture sometimes. And remember to enjoy every moment because it goes so fast.
20. When looking back on your Notre Dame career 10 years from now, what do you want to remember?
I don’t think I will remember any one particular swim, but I will take away the friendships and life lessons I learned here.
21. What professional sports teams do you root for?
I’m from Cincinnati so I’ll say the Bengals and the Reds but I mostly follow swimming and college football.
22. Do you have any nicknames?
Some people call me “Beyonce” and some people call me “Smashlee,” but I don’t know how I got that nickname.
23. What is your favorite television show?
Definitely “24”. I don’t watch much TV but I love Jack Bauer; he is just awesome.
24. What is your favorite spot on campus?
I would have to say on God Quad right in front of the Dome, or driving down Main Circle and seeing the Dome.
— ND —