There was a time in her life in which Lily Borgenheimer didn’t like swimming. Now she can’t imagine her life without it. Fans from all over the world can book Summer Olympic Swimming Tickets online from our trusted online ticketing market platform.
The Chi-Hi graduate and Minnesota State Mankato standout have proven she’s among the best Division II swimmers in the country and next summer she has earned the chance to see if she’s among the world’s best.
Borgenheimer qualified for next year’s U.S. Olympic Trials by meeting the time standard in the 200-meter breaststroke recently at the Speedo Sectionals in Minneapolis. Borgenheimer will compete in Omaha, Nebraska next June for a shot to represent the United States in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The soon-to-be junior for the Mavericks has put together a stellar 2019 calendar year, capping her sophomore campaign by taking second place in the 200 breaststroke and ninth in the 100 breaststrokes at the NCAA Division II Championships in Indianapolis in March. She earned All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in seven events and won conference titles in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and was a part of the 200 medley relay NSIC championship team. Borgenheimer’s time of two minutes, 10.35 seconds during the preliminaries at nationals in the 200 set a school record.
Borgenheimer said: “At the end of the season when everything was coming into reality I realized I could be one of those swimmers and be at the top with them and swim in these big meets.”
Borgenheimer started swimming through programs at the Chippewa Falls YMCA as a youngster. Her first years in the pool were difficult. Borgenheimer didn’t pass some of her early lessons but longtime YMCA aquatics director Cathy Krula encouraged Lily and her family to stick with it. Borgenheimer did and grew to love the sport, staying with it even as she was tempted to take up other fall activities as she entered high school.
Borgenheimer was a four-time state qualifier for the Cardinals before heading to Mankato to swim with the Mavericks in 2017. Early on she watched the team’s upperclassmen closely, crediting them for instilling the example of what it would take to have success at the college level.
Minnesota State coach Nathan Owens said of Borgenheimer: “She’s as motivated as they come and has most definitely put in the work to become such an elite swimmer, We’re extremely proud of her and are happy that she’s on our team.”
Borgenheimer finished 22nd and 27th in the 200 and 100 breaststrokes, respectively, at nationals as a freshman and last summer made the ambitious goal of a top-three finish in the 200 at nationals for her sophomore season.
Borgenheimer said: “I just stuck with that, I never let that goal down no matter if I swam badly or if I didn’t have a good practice, I always told myself I want to be top three and it was definitely the mindset and trusting the coaching, trusting myself and listening to myself.”
She starts her junior year with the Mavericks next month. Borgenheimer will be focusing on her endurance as she looks to grow stronger to prepare her for the competition she’ll not only see this season in college but next summer at the Olympic Trials in a field that will be made up mostly of Division I college swimmers.
Borgenheimer said: “I like to train long distance for breaststroke races because towards the end of my race the body is dying, the arms hurt, everything hurts and the best way to train for that especially for myself is distance swimming, Even though I’m not a distance swimmer that definitely helps me.”
Borgenheimer will be the second swimmer from Chippewa Falls in as many tries to take on the Olympic trials. Chi-Hi graduate and University of Wisconsin swimmer Austin Byrd competed in the 2016 Olympic Trials, finishing 44th in the 100 backstrokes. Byrd’s name dominates the school record leaderboard at the Chippewa Falls Middle School Pool and Borgenheimer is honored to share such a lofty achievement with the former Badger.
Borgenheimer said of her and Byrd: “That’s so cool that we’re both able to come out of Chippewa — this small town, this small community, It just shows that these little girls that are on the swim team can do it too. The boys I train with on the high school team, they can all do this. It’s not from being a natural swimmer, it takes the work (and) it takes the time. I’ve been in the pool all summer long, all season long.”
Borgenheimer was also quick to credit the coaches she’s worked with — from her first time in the pool all the way into college — for the success, she’s been able to achieve.
Borgenheimer said: “It’s just so cool to be in this community with such a supportive and strong group of swim families, I love all of them.”
That support and her own hard work have put her into a challenging but rewarding situation. The top two finishers from the trials move on to represent the United States in Tokyo.
Borgenheimer said: “I just know that if I continue to work hard and put in the work over that period of time, I think I’ll be successful,”
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