Margaret Elizabeth Freeman was one of seven freshmen competing this season for Coach Jeremy Organ's Vanderbilt swimming team. Freeman is a second-generation Commodore--her father, Lee ('85), and mother, Mary ('87), both are Vanderbilt grads--and the second member of her family to compete in the Southeastern Conference--her brother, Will, swims at Georgia. Freeman sat down with Commodore Nation at the Centennial Sportsplex Pool last month to discuss her game.
On her decision to attend Vanderbilt:
"When I was growing up, I thought about going here. And then as I got older, I thought: `I don't really want to go there. That's where my parents went. I want to do my own thing.' But after I took my visit here, I realized that Vanderbilt was home, and this was where I wanted to go."
On whether she's chosen her major concentration:
"Not at all. I think that I want to minor in managerial studies on the corporate strategy track, but as far as my major goes I don't really know. I'm just taking all kinds of classes. I took a public speaking class. I was really nervous for it, but I took it because I felt that it is a skill I need to have. I ended up really enjoying that."
On living in the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons:
"It's all about community. I'm really close with the girls on my hall, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to get to know them if it weren't for all the planned activities we had in the beginning."
On the swim team's freshman class:
"We're all really close, which I'm excited about. Elly [Faulkner] and I are actually the only swimmers who room together, and I've really enjoyed that. That's what makes swimming really enjoyable: coming here (to the pool) and seeing all of my friends."
On her earliest memories of swimming:
"I swam for my neighborhood team in a summer league. The very first summer my parents signed me up, I wouldn't swim. I didn't want to lose and I couldn't win, so I just didn't swim.
"My brother was the first one to decide to swim year-round. That's how I got into it, and it just continued. He's a sophomore at Georgia. We both swim distance free, but that's kind of his thing, and butterfly's more of my thing."
On her practice and pre-race routines:
"I have a new one: at the end of every practice, I blow ring bubbles. Scuba divers do them. You're upside down, you hold your nose and blow out, and it's like a giant ring. That's my new superstition: if you do that at the end of practice, you'll have a good next practice.
"Pre-race, I always stretch my hamstrings, shake out my arms, then dip my goggles in the water and de-fog them. I just think about how I've put all the work in, and this is just a test of that. I don't get too nervous."