Swimming and Diving: Senior Captain - Jon Lierley
Freshman year until now - How has your mentality changed toward swimming?
Lierley: "Honestly, I would focus more on the person in the next lane rather than focusing on myself. I would constantly think, has this swimmer next to me been training more than I have? You don't need to think about the other swimmers. All you need to worry about is the clock. The time is what potentially can get you to NCAA's, Olympic Trials and ultimately the Olympics."
As a boy from the south (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina), why Pittsburgh? What was it about Pitt that made you choose to spend your four years here?
Lierley: "When I first stepped on campus, I immediately liked the urban setting that Pittsburgh has to offer. I'm originally from a smaller town in South Carolina so I was surprised by all the big buildings and the many cross walks. The coaching staff was awesome, and they were just like the coaches I had back home. The Pitt coaches are like my second parents and our team is one big family."
How have you grown as a student during your time here at Pitt?
Lierley: "The first semester of my freshman year, I was more
focused on swimming. The academic center really helped me out and made sure I was scheduling time with tutors. I learned more about time management and how many hours I needed to dedicate to each of my classes."
As a Pitt swimmer, are there any specific moments where you look back on and laugh at yourself?
Lierley: "Freshman year, I was the new kid in town. It was fun to look up to the older guys and try to challenge them a little bit. Now that I'm a senior, I've realized some of the younger guys are doing the same thing I used to do. It's funny to see them try and come after me."
Name the first one that comes to mind - best memory as a Pitt swimmer?
Lierley: "It would have to be my freshman year of the Big East Championships. It was hosted here at Pitt so it was a huge deal for our whole team. It was the last day of competition and it was my best event - the 200 butterfly and I had been training all year for it. I ended up swimming at night and earned fourth place overall. It was that moment - me standing on the podium in fourth place, breaking the school record and being first on the team."
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