Athlete of the Week Archive

Jan. 11, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Athlete of the Week



David Schmitt


What posters do you have on the wall in your bedroom?
"Whitewater kayaking is a big part of my life and so I actually have quite a few posters of paddlers running different rivers and waterfalls. You could say I enjoy being around water."

Was it hard for you when you first learned the Haka dance?
"It took a few tries to get it right, but I was all about getting loud and getting our team amped up to swim fast. Some people may wonder where the Haka came from and it's actually a Maori war chant from the Polynesian Islands that our New Zealand teammate Brett Henehan brought with him when he came to Wyoming."

What if any New Year's resolution do you have?
"I don't know if it's a resolution, maybe a goal, maybe just a pipedream, but I'd like to become a better cook. I'll admit, I make a pretty mean PB & J but it might be time to expand my dining repertoire."

Do you think you could swim across Lake Hattie?
"I don't claim to be a distance swimmer and it sounds a little chilly but I bet I could get it done; it would probably be pretty fun."

You are involved in Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SACC), what duties are involved in that?
"I currently sit as the president of SAAC, and in that position I work with some other student athlete officers to build agendas for meetings, try to work with other entities on campus and lead our biweekly meetings. In general SAAC has goals of promoting service to our community and generating student-athlete involvement on campus, while acting as a forum for building stronger bonds between student-athletes and our administration."

When did you first become interested in swimming?
"I was probably six or seven when I first took swim lessons and I was hooked from the beginning."

You are a Wyoming native, what made you choose to come to your home-state school?
"I think it was the people that really sold me; the unity I saw in this team was something I found very important and unique to Wyoming. I looked at schools all over the country and wasn't really opposed to any of them, but here was the best fit."

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I've spent the last 3 summers working as safety kayaker for a rafting company in Colorado and competing in whitewater kayak races. If I'm not swimming, I'll be in the water somehow."

If you could choose any other sport to do at UW what would it be?
"Golfers seem to live the dream, but I admire the work ethic and camaraderie I see in the UW Wrestling team. I don't know how long I'd last but that's a team I wouldn't mind being a part of."

What is the best experience you have had so far as a Cowboy swimmer?
"My sophomore year when we beat BYU for the first time in 22 years was a pretty incredible experience. I had never been a part of a team that had so much energy, and what was better yet was that we beat them in their own pool. I didn't realize what it meant to so many Cowboy fans until we got back to Laramie and people I hardly knew were congratulating me throughout the week."

Who is your favorite superhero and why?
"Tough question, but I'd say Batman. He's just as awesome as any other superhero and he doesn't even have a superpower."

What was the first job you had?
"The first job I ever had was teaching swimming lessons for my mom. You gotta stick with what you know, right?"

With the NFL playoffs set, who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?
"I want to see the Falcons make it all the way this year. They have been so underrated the entire season, and I'd like to see the underdog win it all."

After the winter break is it hard to get back into swimming shape?
"Oh my coach (Tom Johnson) makes sure to take care of that. We're on winter "break" but no school just means we've got extra time to practice. Winter break is really one of our best opportunities to focus in on the end of our season and work on getting faster. The break from school does leave ample time for naps in our training regimen which is nice."

What is the funniest show on TV?
"I just got done watching old seasons of Arrested Development on Netflix. That show was hilarious, but I'm not sure why it only lasted 3 seasons. I can't say I watch much TV otherwise. We don't even have a TV in the apartment I'm in now, if you can imagine that."

What is one thing you could not live without?
"Not to sound cliché, but it would have to be water. I need it to live in more ways than one, if you catch my drift."