By TANNER BERMAN
Lynn’s Women’s Swimming Team has been one of the most successful athletic programs in NCAA Division II these past few years, and Rebecca Matthews, a Fighting Knights graduate studnet, has further proven that statement.
Matthews and Head Swim Coach Nikki Alvarez have just returned from Indiana where the Division II National Championships were being held. Matthews did not win just one, but two individual national championships, while also setting an NCAA record in the 200 breaststroke, with an incredible time of 2:13:00.
“It was a scary experience but a really fun one,” said Matthews. “It was an awesome atmosphere and I’m really enjoying being a national champ.”
The four-time winner of First Team All American also won the 100 breaststroke national title with a top time of one minute and 59 seconds. Matthews is also the first Fighting Knight to receive First Team All American honors and has made large strides for Lynn’s team.
Coach Alvarez is extremely proud of her swimmers who participated in the National Championships. She is looking forward to building her young program up and using Matthews’ National Championship victories as a stepping-stone for the program as a whole.
“I’m really pleased with not just the direction that we’re heading in the pool, but the group of young ladies that I have on the team,” said Coach Alvarez. “They work really hard and they really support each other.”
The Fighting Knights had an extremely successful season in 2014-2015, sending three swimmers to compete in the National Championships.
In the upcoming season, Matthews will look to do something that no one has ever done before. She is hoping to become an eight-time First Team All American honoree. Although that seems like a tall order, Matthews is ready and grateful to accept the challenge.
“I wouldn’t be an athlete if I didn’t want to better myself,” said Matthews. “I’m excited for next year. I’m going to go all out and keep bettering myself as an athlete and as a person. I really feel lucky to be here at Lynn, and I’m so grateful to everybody for this amazing experience.”
With only one more year of eligibility, Matthews is looking forward to the opportunity to continue swimming in the royal blue uniform that she has become so accustomed to.
Although the current season has ended, her competitive edge and work ethic remains the same, as she is working harder than ever to defend her titles in 2016.