Junior Lauren Bailey has had a strong presence on the UR women’s swimming and diving team since her debut two years ago. As a freshman, Bailey broke the school record in the 100 butterfly and was a four-event champion is the Liberty League Championships. In her sophomore year, Bailey’s success continued. She improved upon her 100 butterfly record, won six events at the Liberty League Championships, and earned the Liberty League Female Swimmer of the Year honors.
Just three meets into this season, Bailey has already shown she is still a force to be reckoned with, capturing ten individual wins thus far to help lead the YellowJackets to victories against Brandeis University, Hartwick College, and Grove City College.
What is you major?
Chemical engineering with a minor in math.
Why did you choose UR?
I felt really comfortable here. I visited a lot of campuses and was between here and Carnegie Mellon. I just really liked the atmosphere. I got a really good feeling from the people here. I felt everyone was really friendly, welcoming, and warm. I wanted a place I could make my new home.
When did you start swimming competitively?
When I was six years old. I turn 20 on Wednesday, Nov. 13, so it’s been a long journey.
What was the first swim team you were on?
My first swim team was called the Patriot swim team. It’s in Westchester, N.Y.
What is you favorite event to swim?
Probably the 200 butterfly. It’s really a test of endurance and a test of will. Even if you’re having a bad day, the winner of that race is usually the one who wants it the most and who can push through and keep going. You get to focus more on your stroke.
What’s you favorite part about being on the team?
The team itself. The atmosphere and having that group of people you can go to when your upset or down. It’s a group of people that always has your back. You never feel like you’re in a swim meet alone. Coming to college I had a whole group that looked out for me from the start. If I had to do it alone, I wouldn’t do it.
Can you think of any races or moments in your swimming career that you are most proud of?
Last year at UAAs, our 200 medley relay made the NCAA selection cut from the previous year. It wasn’t fast enough to go to the NCAA meet, but it was exciting to be so close to going. No one has had a selection cut at Rochester for at least five years. Coming so close has gotten our whole relay team very pumped up this year.
What’s the best swimming advice you’ve ever gotten?
Have fun. My main goal in every race is to just enjoy myself. The one’s where you swim the fastest are the races where your having fun. For me, it’s just staying relaxed and not taking myself too seriously.
What are your goals for the season?
To make nationals [in Indianapolis, Ind. on March 19-22]. I definitely would like to get one of the girl’s relays to go but I also want to make it individually.
Cozen is a member of the class of 2015.