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Mills swimmer awarded LAC Performer of the Week

First-year Morgan Leischman broke six school records in the sweet meet against CSU East Bay.
First-year Morgan Leischman broke six school records in the sweet meet against CSU East Bay.

First year swimmer Morgan Leischman was honored as the Liberal Arts Championship (LAC) Performer of the Week for her superb performance at the swim meet against California State-East Bay.

In her first collegiate swim meet against CSU East Bay, Leischman broke three school records: the 100 backstroke in 1:02, the 200 backstroke in 2:14, and the 200 IM in 2:20. Not only did she beat Mills’ record during that meet, but she also placed in each race.

Awarded athletes are chosen by coaches of the LAC for an admirable performance. The LAC is a conference made up of smaller, liberal arts schools with similar NCAA statuses from across the country that do not have a season-ending, culminating meet.

Neil Virtue, head swimming coach, notes that Leischman works incredibly hard and has major commitment to the team. Virtue believes that breaking three school records as a first year is a great start to her career at Mills.

“It’s hard to predict for four years, but she definitely has the potential, experience and work ethic,” Virtue said. “She works really hard, day in and day out of practice.”

Virtue said that the day of the CSU East Bay meet,  Leischman proved herself as a strong and accomplished competitor by breaking three school records in her first meet.  At the team’s second double dual meet against College of Idaho and Biola College, she continued to impress by breaking both the 200 and 500 freestyle records. In the Bay Area Invitation meet against four colleges, she again broke the 400 IM record. Within three meets, Leischman broke a total of six school records.

“It was amazing to break [the records],” Leischman said.  “It is validation that my hard work is paying off and that I am making a positive impact on the team.”

Swimming competitively since she was seven years old, Leischman decided to join the swimming team at Mills after being impressed with how Virtue created an athletic environment that fosters excellence.

 “The school allows academics and athletics to survive, and the community was amazing,” Leischman said.

Other Cyclone swimmers find Leischman to be a great inspiration and very encouraging of them.  Swimmer Danelis Padron-Castillo admires how Leischman works hard to constantly improve her skills.

“She’s encouraging and goofy and always has a contagious, positive attitude,” Castillo said.

For the rest of the semester, Leischman plans to build great bonds with her team members and have fun. She never wanted to finish a race thinking that she could have done more.  Virtue feels Leishman is committed to improving herself and the team every time she gets into the pool.

“She’s shown huge commitment and great work ethic, which are important tools to succeed,” Virtue said.