June 21, 2012
Rising sophomore Kim Davis of Air Force women’s swimming & diving will be participating in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swim Team Trials June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Neb. The Brentwood, Tenn., native will compete in the 200 meter breaststroke on Friday, June 29. Davis is the first female from the Air Force Academy to compete in an Olympics Trial Qualifier for swimming.
Davis has been training for several months since the culmination of AFA’s regular season in March. She took a break from her rigorous training schedule to answer some questions with go.AirForceFalcons.com.
Q: How is training going?
A: It’s going really well. Today (Wednesday) was my last day in the weight room. We’re also starting to back off on distance swam, so I’m starting to taper off. I started intense training about five weeks ago. Coach Converse and I started by working on my technique. We then gradually worked into increasing my yardage above what I usually train for during the collegiate season.
Q: Are you doing anything differently now compared to your in-season training?
A: I’ve been focusing a lot more on technique and specifically swimming the breaststroke. In the regular season, I still do a lot of freestyle and a lot of aerobic exercising. But right now, it’s all breaststroke and getting all aspects of the swim down perfectly... underwater technique, head positioning, my tempo, etc.
Q: Since most of your classmates are enjoying their summer breaks, do you find it hard to maintain your focus while your teammates are away from the Academy?
A: Kind of. It makes practice a little less fun when there’s not as many people here. A bunch of swimmers from the men’s team are still here and there are a couple women’s swimmers are around so I’m not totally isolated.
Q: Not too many freshmen come right in and set three school records. Now that your freshman season is over, have you had time to reflect on your accomplishments so far?
A: A little bit. Earning team MVP was pretty cool. I didn’t come to the Academy with the intent of breaking school records. It just kind of happened.
Q: I heard it took you two years to meet the Olympic Trials Standard.
A: It did. I got really close the summer before my senior year of high school. The whole next year I tried hard to make the cut and got really close again, missing by just three-tenths of a second, which was frustrating. Then I came to the Academy and had to re-train this fall after missing six weeks of swimming due to basic cadet training. Luckily I finally got past the cut at the Columbus Grand Prix this year.
Q: What does it mean for you to compete at the trials? Especially as the first female at the Air Force Academy to do so?
A: It’s definitely an honor to be the first one to do it. I’ve wanted to compete at the trials for awhile. My mom and sister went to watch the 2004 trials and enjoyed it. So since back then, its kind of been one of my goals to reach the trials.
Q: Why did you decide to come to the Academy?
A: I came out to take a look at the Academy with my dad, since he went to school here. He didn’t pressure me into coming here. He just wanted to show me what the place looked like. This was the summer before my junior year of high school. I got a chance to talk to (former) coach Carrie Renter and she got me thinking about coming here. I later kind of had this epiphany that this was where I wanted to go.
Q: So your dad didn’t really push you to attend the Academy?
A: No, not at all. He was really excited when I decided to come here. But he never pressured me into coming here.
Q: I hear you’re the official music D.J. for both the men’s and women’s swim teams during training.
A: Oh yeah.
Q: Is this something you take seriously?
A: Kind of. I just made a playlist once I saw we had an iPod hook up for the pool stereo. I told everyone to email me song requests and I never really got much feedback, so I just picked what I wanted.
Q: Do you feel your song selection has helped with teammates setting several school records this past spring?
A: Definitely. They got so pumped because of my songs... just kidding of course. I tried to put music in that everybody would like. To hopefully make practice a little more fun.
Q: What do you usually listen to? Any songs or musicians are you listening to now to get you pumped up?
A: I’m from the Nashville area, so I obviously listen to a lot of country. I also listen to some pop and whatever sounds good.
Q: Who were influential people growing up that have gotten you to where you are today as an elite-level swimmer?
A: My parents and my older sister, Corie. My coach from my club team, Mark Walker. My best friend Caroline Bechtel. She made going to practice worthwhile every day.
Q: What can we expect from Falcon swimming next season?
A: I hope we’re going to very good. We have another strong class of freshmen coming in and we return a bunch of swimmers that swam well last year. We’re hoping to win more meets.
Q: What are your personal goals as you enter your sophomore season?
A: Personally, I’d like to make the NCAAs.
Q: Any goals for the Olympic trials.
A: I’d like to improve on the overall ranking. I’m just going to enjoy my experience there.