One-on-One with: Amanda Maez

Nov. 3, 2010

Kansas senior swimmer Amanda Maez is a senior sprinter on the Kansas swim team, and has aided the Jayhawks in their first three meets of the season. Maez, originally from Albuquerque, N.M., is being looked upon as a team leader in her fourth year of varsity swimming under Head Coach Clark Campbell. recently caught up with Maez.

What has been your biggest swimming accomplishment here so far?
“My biggest accomplishment thus far has been the privilege of being on the 200 Medley Relay at 2010 Big 12 Championship. It was really special to be on a relay team with such talented and hard-working girls. We were very close to getting a spot at NCAA’s last year, but just missed the cut-off. This gives us all the more motivation to work hard this year and try again for a chance to go to Austin in 2011.”

How can you, as an individual, improve before the end of the fall season?
“As an individual, improvements can be made this fall by being consistent at every practice. During fall, we’re not really looking for huge time drops, but getting a little bit better every week will lead to a good result at the end of the season. By showing up every day ready to work and making the right things a habit, improvement will come. There is really no ‘secret’ to performing well at meets–the better you practice, the easier it is to perform well when it comes competition time. Also, as the fall season gets rolling, practices start to get harder, school gets busier and it’s easy to begin to feel overwhelmed. As a senior, I want to be an encouragement to my teammates during this taxing time of the year, and help build them up so that they can reach their fullest potential this year not only as athletes, but outside of the pool as well.”

How can the team improve before the end of the fall season?
“As a team, I think that the most important thing is staying positive. We have a really tough dual meet schedule this fall, and it is important to remember to ‘keep the race in our own lane,’ as our coach (Clark Campbell) tells us often. If we worry about how other people are swimming, we won’t be able to focus on what we are doing and accomplish our goals. By swimming tougher teams this year, we have a great opportunity to see how some of the best teams in the nation compete. In turn, that allows us to push ourselves to become better and hold ourselves to a higher standard than we might normally.”

What are your expectations for the conference championships?
“Conference championships are always an exciting time of year, and they will be here before we know it. My expectation for this year’s Big 12 meet is for it to be the cherry on top of a great season. However, at a series of team-building meetings at the beginning of the year, one of the goals we decided on was to ‘enjoy the journey.’ So, for the time being, that is what I am doing: enjoying and working hard at what I have been given now and being confident in the fact that the outcome of the season will fall into place the way it is supposed to. The more I put into it now, the more rewarding it will be in the end.”

Why did you choose KU?
“I chose KU because I loved the team and the campus. I just felt at home here, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Looking back, I can definitely see God’s hand on my life and how He brought me to KU for a reason.”

How has the team matured and bonded this year?
“The team has been able to bond this year a lot more than I have seen in the past, and I think it is because of the extraordinary effort of our captains. They started working very hard as early as last spring and continued through the summer to come up with ways to integrate our new team members (freshmen) as well as build the team up as a whole early on. The fruits of their work have already been evident to me, and the team this year seems to be much more cohesive than in years past. Not to mention the efforts of each of the girls on the team—everyone has been putting in a great effort thus far to not only work hard in the pool, but get involved with the team outside of the water as well. I am truly blessed to be able to spend so much of my time with such an excellent group of girls.”