Upon entering their first year of college, many incoming freshmen experience similar feelings and emotions. During the first month, one might miss the comforts of home or old friends, or one may worry if they’ll ever find their way around campus, or hand in all of their assigned work on time. Within those first few weeks, a good number of college freshmen are preoccupied with new classes, meeting new people or picking what clubs to join — that is, unless you’re Colleen Young ‘20.
Last September, student athlete Young was not among the rest of the Class of 2020 finding their place in the herd just yet — she was busy winning a bronze medal for the 100m breaststroke, as well as placing fourth in the 100m backstroke at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. For Young, “there’s probably no other feeling like it, it’s definitely in the top five best feelings ever,” and it’s easy to understand why.
Upon returning to America, Young came to Stag Nation and made Fairfield into her home by doing what felt familiar: swimming to success. Just last week, the swimmer from Saint Louis, Mo. broke the school record at Fairfield in the 200m breaststroke at a meet against Siena College, surpassing the record previously held by Lauren Kennedy ‘12 in 2009, with a time of 2:43:25. “It feels cool to be a part of such an amazing team,” Young said. “The support that the team has for each other really helps.” In that same meet, Young snagged first place in the 200m IM, also scoring her personal best with a time of 2:30:48, helping the Stags to a victory over Siena.
The victories for Young definitely did not end in Rio. For her, it was only the beginning. Just this Wednesday, Jan. 25, Colleen was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Female Swimmer of the Week after her three outstanding meets last week. As a freshman, this “was a pretty cool honor.” Following her historic meet against Siena, she placed first in two events and second in one event as the Stags faced Iona College. Although Fairfield fell to crosstown rival Sacred Heart University, Young still came out on top, placing first in the 200m breaststroke and second in the 100m breaststroke.
With the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships around the corner, Young is feeling confident. “I think we’re going to do really great at MAACs, everyone’s been working hard and training hard and putting up some fast times,” the swimmer said. Young’s future at Fairfield is as promising as ever right now and the idea of breaking more records in the years to come is “definitely a possibility,” including records she has set herself. “I think it’s a possibility — we have a good coach and we have a strong, supportive team, we have fast commits coming in,” Young said of her team. The Fairfield family is excited to watch Young’s already successful swimming career reach new heights in the years to come.