Hayley Levin ’16 was recently named Grinnell College Athlete of the Week, as well as the Midwest Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week. She holds the fastest time in the Midwest Conference this season for the 100 fly and 200 IM, is ranked second in the 400 IM, 100 breast and 200 breast and has the third-fastest time in the 200 free and 200 fly. She also swims on several highly ranked relays.

Photo by Saw Min Maw

Why did you choose Grinnell College?
I chose Grinnell because I got recruited for swimming, which was the first eye-opener I had to Grinnell. Also, the academics are amazing and I believe a liberal arts education is important to have. Another really cool thing that drew me to Grinnell was that I could create my own schedule and I wasn’t limited to certain topics.

When did you begin swimming?
I started swimming when I was nine through summer league. I actually did a bunch of other sports like ice-skating, gymnastics, softball and soccer. Eventually my mom said I needed to pick one and I just really loved being in the water. I just felt really good when I was in the water, so I stayed.

What was a highlight of the team training trip to Florida this year?
The Connecticut College meet, which was outside and we were able to race fast people. On a non-swimming note, we had a beach day, which was a day off. We got to hang out with the entire team the whole day and bury ourselves in sand and play elbow tag in the ocean.

What do you hope to accomplish this season?
I would really love to make nationals in the 400 IM.

What about between now and graduation?
I would love to get a school record in the 400 IM. I think I’m close in the 200 IM right now actually, so I’d like to get that as well. It would be really nice to have my name up on the board.

When’s your next meet?
Our next meet is this weekend against Macalester away.  We have a home meet the weekend after that [February 1 and 2]. Please come and watch! It makes everyone so excited and I swim so much faster when my friends are there to cheer me on. We could always use timers to work at the meet too.

What are you most looking forward to this spring?
I’m really excited about Conference. Everyone’s going to go fast and it’s going to be a great time for team bonding. We will be happy and energetic because we’re not tired anymore [because of tapering]. We are hosting Conference so people should come [Conference is February 15-17.]

Describe your ideal sandwich.
Toasted, so the Nutella I would put on it would melt. It would have a little bit of strawberries on it; that would be good. The bread would be multi-grain.