March 18, 2014
Air Force freshman Genevieve Miller heads to the 2014 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships, held March 20-22, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Miller is slated to swim the 500 yard freestyle on Thursday and the 1650 free on Saturday.
Miller took a moment from her busy schedule to answer some questions before heading off to Minneapolis for the championships.
goAirForceFalcons.com Q&A with Genevieve Miller
How has this season been for you so far?
This season has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. The team atmosphere was like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I think that having such amazing teammates and coaches really helped push me to work as hard as I possibly could since I was competing for something greater than myself.
Did you expect to break so many school records so quickly?
I honestly had no idea what to expect for my first college season since I would be acclimating to college and a completely different training regimen. I was just excited to get to train with Sara Menke since we were very close time wise, so to break any records at all was really exciting.
What was it like to win two conference titles?
It was absolutely wonderful to be able to contribute to the team score individually, and I feel like (or at least hope!) it made some teams start to respect us a little bit more as a serious competitor. To be honest, the highlight of my meet was getting first and second in the 1650 with Sara, as we had talked about how amazing it would be to have the both of us on the podium at once, claiming the top two spots.
Your older sister, Ginny, is a 2006 Academy graduate and former Falcon swimmer. Was she influential in regards to you coming to the Academy?
Before Ginny left for USAFA, I knew she was exceptionally smart and incredibly athletic as she was valedictorian and lettered in a myriad of sports during high school while simultaneously participating in club sports. I remember coming to visit Ginny for multiple Parents Weekends and then for graduation, so as a child, I was always aware of the opportunities the school offered. As I got older and we grew closer, I realized how the Academy had shaped her into an even more selfless, honorable, hard-working, self-confident leader. This growth in her character was also manifested through her schoolwork and athletics, as she maintained remarkably high grades while significantly bettering her best times. I think I knew in middle school that a service academy would eventually be the best place to reach my athletic and academic goals while permitting me to serve the country that had provided me with innumerable opportunities.
What kind of advice has she given you in regards to Academy life and being a cadet-athlete?
Ginny has taught me how important it is to work hard in everything you do and not do anything halfway. She stresses how important it is to be kind to everyone as each individual has something unique to offer and everyone can always use a friend. She also emphasizes the importance of asking for help and utilizing all available resources.
How does it feel to be the first Falcon women’s swimmer since 1997 to make the NCAAs?
It’s really cool! It’s pretty humbling to realize that I will be participating for my school, classmates, and squadmates, and not just myself. I think the most exciting part is knowing that next year, there is a really good chance that we can take a team and hopefully qualify a relay or two! We have a handful of girls right on the bubble, so with another season, I think we will have a great chance at qualifying a lot more girls.
Was making the NCAAs something you strived for or thought was an attainable?
I remember making NCAA’s a goal back in high school during a goal setting meeting with my former club team coach. I thought that it was attainable if I continued to work for it and maintained a positive attitude.
Any expectations or goals at the NCAA’s?
I would LOVE to qualify for finals in the 500 and/or place in the mile just to get some (or one!) point(s) up on the board for Air Force, but I would be thrilled with a best time and to move up a few spots in the rankings.
Although your freshman season is just about winding down, do you have any goals set for the next season and beyond?
I definitely want to qualify for NCAA’s again, but this time I want to go with a team! I cannot think of a more exciting trip than if Air Force sent a relay with some individual races to NCAA’s. I would also like to just keep improving individually and hopefully help the team place higher at conference next year.