Senior Spotlight: Rebecca Rogers

Feb. 27, 2008

When Rebecca Rogers steps up to the starting block for her first event at the Pac-10 Championships this week in Long Beach, Calif., it will bring back memories of her first time four years ago when she was in the exact same position as a freshman getting ready to swim in the 800 freestyle relay on opening night of the conference championships.

Rogers, a senior from Walnut Creek, Calif., and the UW women's swimming team opens the 2008 Pac-10 Championships tonight at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool. For Rogers, it will remind her of most memorable moment as a member of the Husky squad.

'I think it might be my freshman year at Pac-10s,' said Rogers when asked what her most memorable experience has been as a UW swimmer.' I was on the A 800 free relay, which is the first event of the meet. I was so nervous because this was the first meet where I realized what it meant to be in the Pac-10 and how challenging it was, especially in swimming.

'I didn't do anything all that amazing in the relay but it was the first time I realized what college swimming was really all about and about what it meant to be in the Pac-10 conference.'

Coming out of Las Lomas High School, Rogers chose the UW over California, Maryland and UC Santa Barbara. When Rogers came on a recruiting visit to Washington in the spring of her senior year at Las Lomas, the sun just happened to be shining and she fell in love with the campus and the city of Seattle.

'The school was beautiful and I loved Seattle. The weekend I came on my recruiting trip here it was also sunny and I thought maybe all those rumors about it raining in Seattle all the time might not be true.'

The transition from being a high school and club swimmer to a collegiate swimmer wasn't easy in the beginning for Rogers. She quickly learned that college athletics required much more time for training and competition.

'The hardest thing for me to adjust to with college swimming was weights and the dry land. My freshman year we had this weight coach named DJ. He pushed us so hard in the weight room with these plate drills and would make us start over if we messed up. DJ also had us doing this really hard weight circuit that I remember. Me and Maggie (Bever) were so sore those first couple of weeks our freshman year that we could barely make the walk up to the dorms after practice.

'It also took me a while to get used to all the meets we had. In club and high school swimming you only have a meet about twice a month. In college you have one almost every weekend when you're in season. It was hard at first to adjust to having to perform every weekend practically.'

A freestyle specialist in her time at Washington, Rogers adjusted quickly as a freshman in 2004-05 and swam four events for the Huskies, coming up with 10 top-three finishes.

That year, Rogers was part of eight females that joined the Husky swimming program as freshman. Just four remain, though: Rogers, Bever, Jessica Buchanan and Mary Patterson. Rogers says that the four are extremely close.

'Maggie, Mary, Jess and I have been really close over the four years here,' said Rogers. 'When we came here as freshman there were eight of us and to now have only four of us has made us even closer.'

Rogers and Bever have become best friends after rooming together as freshman. The two lived only twenty minutes apart back in high school and attended rival high schools, yet didn't strike up a friendship until they both came to Washington.

'We have had so many amazing memories these four years that will be with me forever,' Rogers said in reference to her friendship with Bever. 'Mary and Jessica are also close friends of mine that I've shared a lot with over these past four years as well.'

Rogers will graduate this spring with a degree in journalism and plans to pursue a job in sports broadcasting. She will return to the Bay Area this summer to coach a high school recreation swim team before seeking a full-time position. She has a good head start in her career as she has worked as a sports reporter for the UW student newspaper, The Daily, and completed an internship with the sports broadcasting department of CBS in San Francisco.

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