Captains’ Corner: Lauren Jones ’17

Photo Courtesy of Sports Information
Lauren Jones ’17. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Team:

Women’s swimming and diving

Hometown:

Frisco, Texas

Residence:

Woodbridge House

How old were you when you started swimming?

I learned how to swim when I was two years old and started competitive swimming in fourth grade.

Why did you decide to swim competitively?

My mom talked me into swimming. My parents really encouraged me to try all sports, and I just fell in love with swimming. 

What did you like most about swimming?

Mostly, I liked the team and how the team dynamics were. When you’re young, it’s just pure fun, and you’re doing it for a great time. I’ve always loved being in the pool since I learned how to swim when I was two, so it came naturally to me.

What was your experience swimming in high school like?

My high school experience was a lot of fun. I was on a pretty competitive high school team in Texas. My sophomore year, we won states, which was really cool. It was very team-oriented. The guys and girls practiced together, which was fun. A lot of the people on my high school team were on my club team, so we were all close friends, and it felt like home.

Why did you ultimately choose to attend and swim at the College?

I was a recruit, and I actually cried before my recruit trip here, because I didn’t want to come. I was dead set on going to William & Mary, but I’d already committed to coming on a trip here, and my mom said I couldn’t back out, because Williams is such a good school. So I came here, and my host was Sarah Thompson ’15, a phenomenal swimmer. I fell in love with the team and the campus, and Coach [Steve] Kuster is a really great guy.

Which events do you swim?

I swim the 100, 200 and 500 free; the 200, 400 and 800 free relay; and the 400 medley relay.

Why do you like those events?

I really like the 200 and 500, because they are strategic, and you have to think about when to kick it into gear 100 percent. If you start going too fast too early, you won’t be able to finish the race strong. 

What is the swim team culture like?

In the past, the men’s and women’s teams have had a lot of issues, but more recently, especially this year, we’ve become really united, and it’s  really good and very supportive. It’s fun, because it’s not just the women’s team that is supporting each other. You also have 30 other people behind you. On the women’s side, it’s pretty awesome. It’s a great group of people. When we compete together, there is team energy and we become unstoppable. We’ve gotten to the point where we can go into a tough race and have one goal as a team, rather than just a bunch of individual goals. 

Who is your favorite famous swimmer?

Katie Ledecky! 

What is it like being team captain? How has this season been different from other years?

It comes with its challenges, but I feel so fortunate to be working with my co-captains. They are such wonderful people who genuinely care about the team and make sure we are successful in and out of the pool. I have learned so much from them this year. It’s not a very rewarding job to have but, at the same time, our senior class kind of leads together. It’s not the three of us calling the shots. We try very hard to make it so that the leadership comes not just from ourselves but from all of the upperclassmen on the team.