Ten questions with swimmer Marissa Clapp

By Courtney Linehan

Marissa Clapp is a freshman on the Illini swim team. In her first meet, she got three best times, and she set – and broke – her personal best last weekend, finishing the 200 breaststroke in 2:19.74.

Q: How has the season been going so far?

A: Pretty good. It was hard at first, but now I’m really getting into it.

Q: What’s been the toughest thing about transitioning from high school and club swimming to NCAA-level competition?

A: In competition I was really intimidated at first, but I guess I’m getting into it. It’s been better the last couple meets. I just get really nervous, intimidated.

Q: You ran track and cross country in high school. Why did you decide to be a swimmer in college?

A: Swimming is the sport that I actually like. I don’t like running at all. I like to do it if it’s not for competition; I just like to run on my own.

Q: Why did you pick Illinois?

A: I really liked the team when I came on my visit and I wanted to be at a Big Ten school really bad, or even just a Division-I school that would challenge me, make me better.

Q: You’re from Danville. How much did being close to home factor into your decision to come to Illinois?

A: For living closer than most people, I haven’t actually been home more than most people, just once or twice. I think I go home or talk to people from home the same amount as normal.

Q: What’s your favorite event?

A: The 200 breaststroke because it’s not a sprint. I don’t like to sprint. The more I stretch out, the better I do. And I really like the breaststroke.

Q: When you’re not swimming, what are you doing?

A: Studying, basically, because we have to do 10 hours at Irwin (Academic Center). And eating. Studying and eating a lot.

Q: What are your other favorite sports?

A: I like track and cross country. I like to watch basketball a lot. I like volleyball. And badminton. Badminton’s my favorite. I used to play in PE class, and I loved it.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: That’s hard; I like everything. Shrimp, I guess. I love grilled shrimp.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a swimmer?

A: Getting to be in the water. I love the water. I like competing the best; practice is fine, but I just like competition.