Both athletic and academic achievement is what senior Walker Wilson sets the standard for in the men’s swimming and diving locker room.
Wilson was awarded Lehigh’s Most Valuable Swimmer in both 2018 and 2019, was named Freshman Swimmer of the Year in 2017 and holds a variety of school swimming records — including the 500-meter, 1,000-meter, and 1,650-meter freestyle, the 200-meter backstroke and the 4×800-meter freestyle relay. This season, he has already posted the fastest 500-meter and 100-meter freestyle times among his teammates.
Wilson is a competitor, but records are not the reason he swims at such a high level.
“I’m a pretty analytical guy,” Wilson said. “I like to look at times and see where other people are in the league… looking at those records has always served as a ‘point me in the right direction’ sort of thing. They give me something to strive for, and I know that those records are a way of pushing myself further up in the league and getting our name out there.”
Head coach Robert Herb attributes much of Wilson’s drive to his character and said the foundations for his personal success were instilled in him by his parents, even before coming to Lehigh. Wilson’s Lehigh experience, Herb said, has helped refine those values.
As a senior, Wilson plays a crucial role in setting the tone in the locker room, something many of his teammates commend him for.
“Walker (Wilson) is someone that I can always look up to and compare myself to in practice,” sophomore Joey Rogers said. “He never holds anything back in the pool, so it’s great swimming with him and having him as a training partner.”
Wilson was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in 2019, reflecting a dedication toward his education that is shared by his teammates and coaching staff.
Herb said the swimming program emphasizes its culture of academic success outside of the pool, and he said Wilson takes these values to heart.
“He is looking to have a bright future outside of swimming and Lehigh,” Herb said. “This is all part of it. He loves to do it — he’ll put 100 percent into it — but he also understands that there’s another door he’ll be walking through in less than a month.”
With the Patriot League Championships quickly approaching, Wilson is not ready to ease up just yet.
“I feel really good about the team and where we are,” Wilson said. “We’ve been pushing through a really heavy winter training session… We have a lot of potential with some of our relays. We have a lot of potential with some of the younger guys on our team to have some breakout meets.”