Women’s Swim & Dive: Colleou’s Road to Pac-12 and NCAA Championships

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Women’s Swim & Dive: Colleou’s Road to Pac-12 and NCAA Championships

Stina Colleou, Utah Swim and Dive team August 31, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

Stina Colleou, Utah Swim and Dive team August 31, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

Stina Colleou, Utah Swim and Dive team August 31, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

Stina Colleou, Utah Swim and Dive team August 31, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

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The U’s women and men’s swimming teams are preparing for their last few meets of the 2015-16 season, but for some swimmers, the season is far from over. These include Norwegian swimmer and junior Stina Colleou. Since her freshman year, Colleou has managed to earn herself invitations to both the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships, placing high and also managing to earn a spot on the podium.

“My freshman year was really good for me,” Colleou said. “Both Pac-12 and NCAA’s went way beyond any of my expectations.”

Competing in her first year at the Pac-12 Championships, Colleou made a name for herself as she placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:05.82) and sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.71). Not only did she manage to place in the top eight at the meet, she also recorded a season-best in the 200-yard IM (2:05.82).

Stina Colleou, Utah Swim and Dive team August 31, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

Stina Colleou, Utah Swim and Dive team August 31, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

As she made her way to the NCAA Championships, Colleou earned All-American honors after finishing ninth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a school record and the 13th-fastest time in the nation with 2:08.35. She also finished 34th in the nation at the NCAAs in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.14).

“It was like a whole new experience for me, and I didn’t really know what to expect so I went in without any expectations,” she said. “I just wanted to have fun and just see how it would go.”

As her sophomore year came around, Colleou’s experience didn’t live up to the expectations she had the year before.

“Last year was a little harder,” Colleou said. “I didn’t do as well, personally, at both Pac-12s and NCAAs.”

Though she felt it was not as great of a meet as she wanted, Colleou still managed to walk away with a personal best in the 200-yard IM, hitting a 2:05.26 mark. Colleou also swam the 100-yard breaststroke, placing eighth in the “A” finals for the 100-yard breaststroke with her NCAA B-standard time and season-best time of 1:01.31. She swam the 200-yard breaststroke, taking sixth with a 2:10.61.

At the NCAAs, Colleou was invited to swim both her events, the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, hitting a 1:01.21 (40th) and 2:10.82 (26th), respectively.

“It was kind of a down season for me, but I learned a lot about myself and the team,” Colleou said. “It’s always a great experience to be with your team and be together. We still had a lot of fun as team.”

As both championships close in, Colleou wants to embrace the feeling she had her freshman year — just going out without holding herself to any expectations.

“I just want to have fun,” Colleou said. “I’m not going to think too much about results or anything — I just want to have fun. I just want to embrace everything and hopefully everything goes as planned.”

Before Colleou and her team make their way to the championships, they will finish off their dual-meet season against Denver (Jan. 29) in Denver and Washington State (Feb. 13) at the Ute Natatorium.

This week’s meet is set to begin at 4 p.m. MT.

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