John Jay’s Olivia Lind will head to the Southwest and swim at SMU next fall.

From the Lewisboro Town Pool to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, the dream of being a Division 1 college swimmer for John Jay’s Olivia Lind is about to become a reality.

In mid-November, Lind signed her National Letter of Intent to swim for the Mustangs of the American Athletic Conference.

“I have always dreamed of swimming for a D-1 school in the South,” Lind said. “After looking all across the country, I found that SMU had everything I wanted. A beautiful campus, incredible facilities, enthusiastic coaches and a wide range of academic options.”

She continued, “The SMU swim team is extremely talented with an amazing atmosphere which will help push me to achieve my goals throughout the rest of my swimming career.”

Lind visited the Dallas campus in August right before the start of her senior year at John Jay. “Several of my future teammates were able to meet with me and show me around,” she said.

Lind began swimming at age six for the Lewisboro Swim and Dive Team.

“I have always loved the competition and the way you feel after winning a race or making a cut for a big swim meet,” she explained.

In addition to the John Jay varsity, Lind also swims year-round for the Empire Swimming club team.

“Swimming is unique because it’s both an individual sport and a team sport,” Lind said. “I think my strength as a swimmer would be my ability to swim under pressure. There have been many times when I have had only once chance to get a time that was fast enough for me to qualify for an important meet.”

Once a member of the Empire National Team, she realized she could compete on the next level and that her dream of swimming for a D-1 school could come to fruition.

“I knew that I could compete at the next level,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to swim in big meets across the country and challenge myself against some of the best swimmers in the country.”

Lind is primarily a backstroker. Her best times are 27.25 seconds in the 50-back, 56.94 seconds in the 100-back, and 2:03.23 in the 200-back.

She is a three-time New York Federation Championship finalist. She finished 12th in the 100-back during her junior season after taking 26th in that event as a sophomore. She also placed 17th in her signature event as a freshman.

“I will always remember Meg Kaplan as the coach who introduced me to the sport of swimming,” Lind said. “She has been with me from 6 years old on the Lewisboro team to now, my coach as a senior at John Jay.”

Even when she joins the SMU family, Lind will always look back fondly on her days at John Jay.

“The John Jay team has such a great atmosphere at competitions,” she said. “No matter how fast or how slow you are, everyone is always cheering. I’m proud of how our relay teams worked together to make the state cut the past three years.”

Lind continued, “I want to be remembered as someone who was always there to help out the younger athletes. I was lucky enough to qualify for the state championships and finals in eighth grade, so I  had lots of experience and was able to help out swimmers who were struggling to get a time cut or who didn’t think they were good enough.”

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