TCNJ Magazine Fall 2018

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15 FALL 2018 > Some of my earliest memories of swimming are of just learning how to swim in general. Mainly splashing around and playing with friends. > I was 5 years old when I joined my first swim team. It was the local swim club's summer team; I think it was called the Tenafly Tiger Sharks. > As I got older, I got more competitive and started training six hours a day. Practices can be tiring, but when you've practiced properly and are rested enough, it feels effortless, and that is when it is the most fun. > Swim practices are always in the early mornings. I think it helps with the mental toughness. Plus, big races always start early, so it helps you prepare for competition. > I swim middle-distance freestyle, so that's 100, 200, and 500 yards. I was the NJAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman, but I got my best times so far as a sophomore. I am really flexible, and that helps me pull the water. > Behind the starting blocks waiting for my race, I have a set routine: I stretch a bit and shake out my arms and legs to loosen up. I slap my chest a few times and take deep breaths. Right before I get to the start, I exhale pretty sharply, kind of like a grunt. I try to empty my head and not think too much and just let muscle memory take over. > Competing lets me push myself; it gives me someone to chase down at the end of a race when I'm tired and need the motivation. The adrenaline rush it pro- vides when you narrowly beat someone definitely outweighs the nerves that come with it. > Last year, the TCNJ team went to Aruba for training. We ran up and down a mountain. I am not known to be one of the stronger people on the team when it comes to dryland training, but I held my own there. I was proud of that. > Another thing about swimming I like is the people it has allowed me to meet. I'm not a very social person, but I've been able to have a close group of friends among the teammates I swim with. I live with some of my TCNJ teammates. I am not the best roommate though. My side of the room is always messier. > I'm not sure what I want to do for a living yet, but I really enjoy math. My favorite class is abstract algebra. It's the study of structures rather than number systems. Unlike most math, which is very calculatory, you can't really imagine abstract math in your head. —as told to Kara Pothier UP CLOSE > How I Got Here HARRISON YI '20 For this math major, the formula for success is easy: Just add water. World Cup whistle blower When Mark Geiger '96 took the field as a referee at the 2018 World Cup in Moscow, Russia, he knew the entire planet had eyes on him. "More people watch the World Cup than any other sporting event," he says. "The pressure to make the right call is intense." A former math teacher turned professional referee, Geiger earned the honor based on a series of written and performance evaluations from FIFA, the international soccer governing body. He was one of only two American refs to go to Russia. Geiger got his start as an officiator when he was 13 in a local community league. "I had no idea I would be able to take it to this level." —KP Geiger also reffed the 2010 games.

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