March 17, 2014
Hannah Martin, from Greensboro, N.C., competes in the freestyle and backstroke and helped the Commodores set school records last year as a member of the 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relay teams. The sophomore has been swimming since she was four years old. A biomedical engineering major, she would like to work in the designing of prosthetic limbs.
Commodore Nation: What got you into biomedical engineering? Where does that interest come from?
Hannah Martin: It is a really interdisciplinary field, so it combines chemistry, physics and calculus. I had varied interests coming into college, so I thought this was a good way to combine all of those into one field. I also think prosthetics is just fascinating—how you’re able to build something that mimics the human body.
CN: Was it the engineering that drew you to a career in prosthetics or the opportunity to help offers?
Martin: Definitely, the service aspect is cool, too. To help people with disabilities to live an active and normal lifestyle, that would be awesome. I saw a girl who had both of her legs amputated at a (high school) swim meet. That was pretty cool to see. She didn’t use them in the pool. Took them off to swim.
CN: What would be your dream job?
Martin: Probably something in the design aspect of prosthetics. I like how creativity is a part of that.
CN: What do you enjoy the most about swimming?
Martin: I guess everything. It is a really individual sport so it is very mental. You have to race against yourself and improve your own times. It has been fun here at Vanderbilt to experience the team aspect of it more. In college sports it is more about the team than the individual.
CN: Have you been happy so far with your time in the pool the past two years?
Martin: I’ve been really happy here. The training is fun and lively with everyone. Training trip was fun. SEC’s was a blast, just hanging out and racing.
CN: Where was the training trip this year?
Martin: Last year, was Puerto Rico. This year we went to Florida —we were in Del Ray and Ft. Lauderdale for a little bit.
CN: Is that a business trip?
Martin: It is pretty much work. We went down to the beach one or two times. But then we did dry land on the beach for a little bit. We’re pretty tired of (swimming). We like to just lie in the sun for a while. Sometimes we’ll get in the waves because it is a different atmosphere than just pool swimming. It is nice to see the water in a different way.
CN: Does this group have good team chemistry?
Martin: Definitely. Everyone gets along really well. It is a great group of girls.
CN: What has been your most memorable swimming moment?
Martin: SEC (championships in 2013) was probably the most memorable for me. The whole atmosphere there because we were competing for a week with your team. It is a good bonding experience, and we were able to get a lot of team records, so everyone was really pumped up about it.