Former swimmer Walker Wilson, ‘20, swims the freestyle for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. During his time at Lehigh, he collected an abundance of awards, including Lehigh’s Most Valuable Swimmer of the Year two years in a row. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Q&A:Catching up with men’s swimming and diving alumni

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The Brown and White caught up with men’s swimming and diving alumni Kian O’Brien, ‘19, Teddy Smith, ‘20, and Walker Wilson, ‘20, about their student-athlete careers at Lehigh and what they are doing post-graduation. 

Q: What are you doing currently?

Kian O’Brien, former swimmer: I actually just recently returned back home after being a grad assistant at Lehigh this past year. Now, I work remotely for a data science company. This is not exactly swimming, but there really is no form of professional swimming, so I probably won’t end up doing that eventually.

Teddy Smith, former swimmer: As of right now, I am not working, but I am traveling to Ecuador in a few weeks to surf. I am definitely excited for that and to be able to travel and do what I love.

Walker Wilson, former swimmer: I am currently working as a sales engineer and engineering estimator. I am definitely lucky that I am working, especially at a time (like) right now. This isn’t swimming, but I am happy to be able to be doing something that I love. I have also been staying active recently during the pandemic, which has been great for staying in shape. I make sure to continue to lift. Getting in the pool is hard at the moment, though.

Q: What are some of your favorite swimming memories?

KB: Going to the meets was one of my favorite parts about being on the swim team. I loved seeing people from other schools and seeing other coaches that I hadn’t seen in a long time. There is always a lot of excitement when going to a meet because you never know who you are going to see.

TS: One thing that I will never forget from swimming at Lehigh was the last meet of our season, my junior year of college. We had a meet with Bucknell, and this was a perfect comeback victory. I was so excited to see this happen and to also be with all of my friends at the same time. This was such a great experience and definitely one that I will always look back on.

WW: It is so hard to pick just one memory that strikes me as being the best or the funniest. Something that I know I will never forget, though, was the swim meet just this past year, where we beat Boston University for the first time. Our head coach (Rob Herb) had done a great job training us, and it was very rewarding to see all of our hard work and his devotion to coaching us pay off.

Q: How has swimming at Lehigh shaped who you are today?

KB: Being a swimmer and being on a sports team at Lehigh was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Thinking back to that, balancing practice at six in the morning with a competitive academic schedule was hard. To think about all of the different things that I was balancing and juggling in college makes me think that whatever assignment I get for work now, I will be able to complete. I have already done the hardest things in my life.

TS: Being able to work hard at one thing in one moment and being able to switch really quickly to doing something later on and focusing entirely on that is something that I have gotten great at. I credit swimming for shaping this ability for me.

WW: Swimming has taught me how to stay in shape and how to train to the best of my ability. I also have definitely fostered such great friendships while being on the team, so it has really helped shape me in terms of my own self and myself as a friend.

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