Alexandra Veech is an accomplished swimmer at UR and the current 100-yard breaststroke school record holder. She has been honing her swimming skills since she was introduced to the sport years ago.
But her accolades and training were not enough to propel Veech past the top-16 cutoff for All-Americans Honors on March 18, as she posted a time of 1:04.55 in the 100-yard breaststroke event at the NCAA Division III championship and missed the mark by just half a second.
Despite placing nineteenth out of 31, Veech was pleased with her accomplishments. “I was pretty excited about my swims at nationals,” Veech said. “I swam my third-fastest time ever in the 100 breaststroke.”
Veech showed her versatility at the competition by also swimming the 200-yard breaststroke, in which she swam her fastest-ever time in that event.
The junior swimmer understood the level of completion and took pride in being one of the select few swimmers in the tournament. “Honestly,” she said, “just qualifying to be there was a huge honor and having the opportunity to watch the fastest swimmers in the nation compete was awesome.”
Also, being in North Carolina didn’t hurt.
“I had never traveled to Greensboro, NC. It was a blast,” Veech said. “The weather was warm and sunny, my coaches and I ate some authentic southern food—it was a great trip.”
For Veech, swimming and academics are not mutually exclusive.
The breaststroke record-holder is a majoring in Environmental Health, which is a new—one year old—subset of the Public Health major. She has taken lessons from swimming and applied them to the classroom. “Through swimming I’ve learned to persevere,” she said.“That has shown in my studies, as well.”
Swimming has also taught her other invaluable lessons, including balancing different facets of her life.
“Being a student athlete on campus isn’t easy,” Veech said. “Between the rigorous course work, practice, meet schedules, and extracurriculars, getting everything done really requires perseverance.”
While academics and swimming are both important aspects of her life, Veech’s family remains an integral support system and influence.
Veech, who is from Binghamton, NY, cites her family as the reason why she got involved in swimming.
For her, swimming was essentially a family affair before it became a sport.
“My younger brother got me into swimming,” Veech said. “After I left the sport of gymnastics, I had way too much energy, so my mom had me go to my brother’s swim practices to get it all out before bedtime.”
Veech considers her teammates as a family as well.
“Our team really has a family dynamic to it,” Veech added. “I love my teammates. Before I left [to go to Greensboro] a group of[my teammates] surprised me at my door with signs, letters and food. It was so sweet.”
On an average day, Veech is with her teammates, whether it’s in class, during practice, or weekend adventures. “You can typically find a few tables of swimmers in upper ITS,” Veech said. “On a casual day outside of the pool we study together, have team meals, plan ski trips, go to concerts—the works.”
Veech loves all that she calls her family, from her immediate relatives to all of her teammates on the UR Swimming and Diving team.
“URSD is truly my family, and I am so grateful for that.”