DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke swimming and diving team will return to action in January, 2013. Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior freestyle and backstroke swimmer Mariah White to learn more about the Durham, N.C., native.
GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke? Mariah White: My proudest moment at Duke has been being a part of the team here. That might sound pretty simple, but getting into Duke, getting a spot on the team - it's something I think about every day. I look around and I'm really excited and happy to be a part of a Division I team like Duke.
GoDuke.com: What is the most misunderstood thing about swimming? MW: A lot of people think swimmers are really unathletic and that they just look at the bottom of the pool and train. But we do have some really impressive people on our team that can do stuff outside of the pool. I would also hope that people know how much we train - twice a day, every day. It's exhausting.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite part about being a Duke student-athlete? MW: The brand is insane. You go anywhere in the country, and people are in awe about you. That's because we have the balance of high academics and high athletics. It's very well-known. We're representing a lot as a Duke student-athlete.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite spot on campus? MW: The Bryan Center plaza area because there's always a lot going on over there.
GoDuke.com: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to pass along to freshmen and future Blue Devils? MW: You hear so often that four years goes by so quickly, but you don't actually realize how quickly it goes by. The other seniors and I could definitely attest to the fact that it seems like we were freshmen yesterday. It flies by so quickly and it's scary how fast it goes, so just enjoy every day.
GoDuke.com: When did you first start swimming? MW: I'm the youngest of five children and my sister, who's my oldest sibling, was a teenager when I was born. She got me in the water when I was 18 months old. We lived in New Orleans at the time and we had a pool, so she taught me how to swim. My first swim meet, I swam the 25 [yard] backstroke in about four minutes because I panicked and swam vertically [laughs], so I think I've come a long way.
GoDuke.com: As a kid did you know what you wanted to be when you grow up? What do you want to be now? MW: I've always been interested in athletics because my brothers played basketball. As they now work in sports, I kind of look to them. I hope I find myself working in sports in the next couple years.
GoDuke.com: Who would you choose to be your mentor? MW: My sister is a great mentor for me. She has always told me - maybe in nice ways sometimes and maybe not - what tracks to choose. She always tells me the right thing.
GoDuke.com: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? MW: Rent out a theme park and take all my nieces and nephews.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite midnight snack? MW: Pizza or Honey Nut Cheerios.
GoDuke.com: If you weren't a swimmer, what other sport would you try? MW: I would run track. I did that for a bit and then decided to keep swimming.
GoDuke.com: Do you have any hidden talents? MW: My roommates love when I sing. Actually, I love singing and they hate it [laughs].
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