Quinn Mitchell (‘19) of West Hartford, Conn. only needed two seasons to shatter Clark’s 50 yard butterfly record, and is now focused on beating the 100 yard record. Outside of the pool, Quinn studies art history and is vice president of Radio of Clark University.
Scarlet: What is it like to break a record and then break the same record only three days later?
Quinn: The first time I broke it was at our WPI meet. I was really, really excited to swim the 50 yard butterfly event because it was the first time I swam it all season. It’s never in meets because it’s not really a real event [laughs].
Scarlet: Wait, you broke the record your first time in the event this year?
Quinn: Well, I always swim it in the relay for the 200 yard individual medley. I always do the butterfly in it, but those times aren’t reliable because it’s with a relay start, not a regular start off the blocks. I knew I could go that fast because I had swam past the record in the relay. My mom was also there, so I was like, “I’m just going to go for it,” because I thought it would be cool if my mom could see me break the record. So I did it, and I broke the record, and I had fun. But when I hit the wall and looked at the clock, I had a quick second of panic when I forgot the record time, and I didn’t know if I actually broke it. But at the other end of the pool my coach gave me the thumbs up. Emma Bolman (‘20) asked me if I had broken it, and I was like, “I think so!” I ended up breaking it, and I broke it again in our Cougar invite. Coach wasn’t there when I swam it because we had moved the 50 fly. So after I raced it, coach came up to me and was giving me a pep talk, and after it I had told him I swam it and broke the record, he gave me a high five.
Scarlet: Which event do you find most difficult, and why?
Quinn: Out of the events that I swim, the 200 butterfly has to be the most difficult; it’s the most physically demanding and challenging event. It’s a long distance for a strenuous stroke, so keeping up and not getting winded in the event is very intimidating.
Scarlet: NEWMACs are in a couple weeks. Is there any goal that you are trying to achieve?
Quinn: Yeah, so I broke the 50 fly record and now I want to go for the 100 fly record. That was also my goal last year, and I missed it by 0.02 seconds.
Scarlet: What have you noticed about the team from this season compared to the last one?
Quinn: Well this year the team is a lot smaller, which lends itself to us being very close. We all got to know each other very fast because of our size. This is the smallest swim team I’ve ever been on.
Scarlet: In the years after you’re done with swimming and being on the team, what will you look back at most fondly?
Quinn: I will definitely look back at how close we are and how much of a family we are. We call ourselves CUSDF, and the F stands for family. That is the most true statement about our team. It’s cool having alumni come back, and it still feels like they are a part of the team and our family. Tyler Terriault (‘16) texted me after I broke the record, and he was freaking out and as excited as I was. Even though he isn’t on the team, he was still acting like he was. I will remember the camaraderie and family that the swim and dive team creates.
Scarlet: What’s one thing you wish the rest of Clark knew about the team?
Quinn: Well everyone kinda makes jokes that we are somewhat of a cult, and I think that makes us seem intimidating to some people. I really wish people could see that we are really super friendly and just want to get to know everyone.
Scarlet: If you were a wizard in the Harry Potter universe, what house would you be in? What creature would you take with you to Hogwarts as a pet? What class would you most want to take at Hogwarts? What position would you play in quidditch? And after your time at Hogwarts, what career in the magical world would you want?
Quinn: Hufflepuff, that’s easy. See the next one is a little trickier because it would be more practical to have an owl, but my inner Hermione tells me to get a cat. I probably would get a cat. Herbology with Professor Sprout because my mom studied horticulture and loves gardening, so my whole life I have always really been into plants. I would be a beater because I think I could hit the ball really far, and I don’t think I could be a seeker. I would want to take over as the school librarian for Hogwarts because Madame Pince isn’t really nice and think I could make the library much more fun and accepting, and a place a lot more fun to be at.
Thanks for the Interview, Quinn!