Section: Sports

Swimmer Haley Townsend ’16 earns academic surprise at NCAAs

By Alex Pijanowski | Staff Writer

Haley Townsend ’16 has already mastered the most difficult of balancing acts, maintaining a cumulative 4.0 grade point average (GPA) through her first three semesters at Kenyon while also being a top performer as a Ladies swimmer. Townsend is an international studies major, and also swam six events at last week’s NCAA Division III national championships.

At that meet, Townsend received the NCAA’s Elite 89 Award, which is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at each competition site.

“When they started describing the award … and then they said my name, everyone turned to look at me, and my jaw definitely dropped,” Townsend said.

Time management is the key to Townsend’s success.

“I plan times throughout the day when I need to get things done, ideally a couple days ahead, so that at least I can get enough sleep for each practice in the morning,” she said.

Townsend sees a strong correlation between her academic and athletic schedules.

“I find I have a much easier time getting things done, actually, during swim season, when I have tremendously less time,” she said. “There are no spare seconds, so I really don’t have a choice. I don’t have to think about it; I just do it.”

Townsend offered simple advice: “The best advice that I could give is, honestly, to start early and plan ahead.”

“It’s not about being incredibly bright or intelligent, it’s just about putting forth a consistent and honest effort every day even when you may not want to,” Townsend added in an email. “Persistence is key.”


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