From student orgs and internships to musical groups and athletics, there are seemingly endless opportunities for students to get involved at Macalester and in the community. In order to stay happy and healthy though, everyone must strike a balance between academics and personal interests. Anik Regan ’17 has chosen to dedicate her time to sports.
Regan, who participated as a sprinter on the Track and Field team her first year at Mac, decided to dive for Swimming and Diving as well this year. Although many student-athletes participate in multiple sports, what is unique about Regan’s situation is that her two seasons overlap from January, when the indoor track season begins, until late February when the diving season ends.
In high school Regan joined the swim team her junior year to stay active, and learned to dive because her coach was always trying to get more students diving. She participated in track all four years and diving her junior and senior years, but the seasons never overlapped.
When she came to Mac, Regan joined the track team, but was apprehensive about diving as well because of the time commitment. After struggling with plantar fasciitis last track season, though, she was looking for a back up plan in case her foot prevented her from running this year. This fall, Regan attended the Women’s Water Polo practices. While there, she saw Molly Lloyd ’18 diving and realized how much she missed it.
Regan then talked to Diving Coach Jake Dunn and he encouraged her to attend a few practices last semester, at the start of the swim season. Regan did not officially decide to join the team until this semester. “This year I just decided to go for it, to try to work in both practices everyday, and make it work for me,” Regan said.
Although she joined the team late and was unable to spend as much time bonding with other members because of track practices, Regan only has good things to say about the atmosphere of the swim team. “It is such a great group of people,” Regan said. “Everybody definitely welcomed me into the team and they’re all so supportive.”
While splitting her time between both teams and practices, Regan gets something slightly different out of each sport. Both track, her primary sport, and diving provide her with an outlet where she can just have fun and does not have to think about school. “Diving is definitely more of a mental challenge, because you have to overcome that fear of jumping from varying heights over and over again. With track it is a lot more physically challenging, but I really enjoy getting in shape,” Regan said.
Diving has complemented Regan’s track experience. The mental toughness she gains from diving helps her with visualization for track. “Before a dive and before I go to bed I’m always picturing how to improve that dive and doing it to the best of my ability and with track I definitely can apply that same skill,” Regan said. Also, Regan’s foot has been painless so far this year, which she attributes in part to strengthening from her diving exercises.
Both Coach Dunn and Head Track and Field Coach Margaret Gehring were major factors in Regan’s decision to participate in both sports. “The biggest reason that I joined diving was because [Dunn] was one of the best coaches in the conference and he was so positive and supportive the whole time which made it a fun experience instead of a stressful one,” Regan said. “He would work with me to find practice times and the same with [Gehring].”
Regan contributed to the team with her diving this year by qualifying for conference in her first meet, the Meet of the Saints on Jan. 17, with a score of 160.55, just 0.55 points above the qualifying score. She then continually improved throughout the season. At the Conference Invitational, Regan finished fourth in the one meter with a score of 194.85.
Regan qualified for indoor conference in track along in the 60 meter dash and as part of the 4×200 meter relay with Emily Diener ’15, Erin Ortiz ’15, and Hannah Sonsalla ’18.
For the outdoor track season, Regan is excited to improve her times from indoor. Due to her injury last year, Regan was not able to get much of a baseline for her times, but hopes to do that this year. Regan plans to run a variety of sprinting events including the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes. “The 200 meter is my favorite, so I definitely want to keep getting faster in that,” Regan said.
In the future, Regan hopes to become more competitive with her diving and improve her scores in comparison to other competitors in the conference. Next year she plans to study abroad in the fall, and so will have another short diving season, but senior year hopes to participate fully.
Although it is difficult to manage practices for both sports along with academics, Regan is happy with her decision. “I choose to do both sports because that’s what I enjoy the most and that’s what I want to spend my time doing.”