Senior women's swimmer Lauren Sylvester

On The Clock With Lauren Sylvester

Jan. 17, 2011

Senior women’s swimmer Lauren Sylvester has had a strong career for the Irish in her first three-plus seasons at Notre Dame. The Philadelphia, Pa., native is coming off a strong junior season where swam a variety of freestyle events for the Irish ranging from the 100 free all the way to the 1,650 free. As a junior, she had four top three finishes, including winning the 1,000 free against Northwestern and turned in three season-best times at the BIG EAST championships. In 2010-11 she has turned in the team’s best time this year in the 1,000 free with a time of 10:11.51, doing that on Oct. 22 vs. Auburn and LSU. She also owns the second-best times this season in the 500 free and the 1,650 free. A four-time high school All-American, Sylvester swam the 400 free in the 2008 Olympic Trials. The Irish women’s team will next be in action on Jan. 28-29 when they host the Shamrock Invitational where they will swim against Denver, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio State and Northwester. Prior to their winter break training trip to Hawaii, Sylvester sat down with’s Tom McGuire to talk about herself and her four years at Notre Dame.

If you could trade places with your coach for a day, what would you do? I would actually trade places with my high school coach. I would love to be in his shoes for one day. He has met so many people, coached Olympic and national teams, and is so loved within the swimming community. I would love to meet some of the people he has met along the way.

What five words do you think best describe you? The five words that best describe me are loud, competitive, honest, funny and loud

What is most memorable about your high school years? There are too many memorable moments to choose. My friends in high school are some of the best I will ever have. We won a national championship my sophomore year and me and four other girls won spring nationals our senior year. That’s pretty amazing to do with five high school girls total.

What is your major? Why did you choose that major? My major is Marketing. I knew I wanted to be a business major and if I picked Accounting and Finance I would have failed out of school.

Do you have any phobias? My biggest phobia is birds. I hate them. I don’t think they serve any purpose, and they are the grossest animals of all time.

What is the biggest meet you’ve ever participated in? The biggest meet that I have ever participated in would be the Olympics Trials in 2008. I swam on day two of eight and just got to hang out the rest of the time. Best meet I ever got to go to.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions? I am very superstitious. I listen to the same songs before every race and do the same stretches.

North or South Dining Hall? Why? I like South because I don’t think the point of a dining hall is to wait 30 minutes for someone to sauté my pasta. I could make my own pasta in less time in my apartment.

What is your favorite memory with your teammates? My favorite memory with my teammates at Notre Dame is winning the Big East title sophomore year. The guys won too and it came down to the last relay for them so it was very nerve racking.

Describe your perfect day – who would you spend it with, what would you do, where would you be? Ron Weasley. I don’t even think I need to elaborate on that one.

What is your dream job? My dream job would be to work for a sports team in Philly, except the Sixers because they stink. I love home and I love sports, so why not work in both of them?

Where is your favorite place to study on campus? If I have to study, I do it in Lafortune. I hate studying to begin with so I’d rather be around people and a TV while doing it. The library smells weird so I never go there.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? If I could have dinner with anyone it would be Fran Crippen. He passed away in October and I miss him everyday. I’d give almost anything to see him one more time.

Who is your funniest teammate? I’d like to think that I am, but I would have to say Meg Reynolds only because her life is a comedy.

What drives you every day? The thing that drives me every day is my family–they have sacrificed so much for me for my swimming and everything else along the way. So I work hard for them.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? If I could eat only one thing the rest of my life it would be cheesesteak. Because there is no better food.

What does being a part of the Fighting Irish program mean to you? It’s pretty cool being part of the Notre Dame program. We have a lot of tradition for winning conference so many years in a row, so it is special to be a part of that success.

What annoys you the most? The thing that annoys me the most is people who follow others instead of taking initiative themselves. That really make me mad. I believe you should be your own person and set your own goals.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure song? My guilty pleasure song is “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. Who doesn’t like that song?

What was the biggest thing that attracted you here to Notre Dame? The biggest thing that attracted me to Notre Dame is the tradition and love for the school that everyone has here. That was the biggest deciding factor when I had to choose. I also love the color green.