Heidi Kucera could be the greatest female swimmer UC Davis has ever had.
Hailing from Palo Alto, Calif., Kucera has put forth numerous school and conference records, and was the first Aggie to qualify for the NCAA Championships with an “A” cut time standard.
This season, Kucera won three or more individual events in each of the team’s conference duals. She also went on to win individual Big West Conference titles in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 individual medley.
Both conference titles were made in school-, meet- and conference-record-setting times; the times were also nationally recognized “B” cuts.
In addition to her two titles, Kucera placed second in the 200 breast, crushing her previous record by five seconds to post a 2:09.41. That time had her ranked No. 7 in the nation leading into the NCAA Championships, which were held two weeks ago at Texas A&M.
Kucera placed 18th at the Championships, missing out on All-American honors by just .14 seconds.
“It was intense,” Kucera said. “Going to Texas was a learning experience. Overall, I was pleased with myself and it was exciting to be in the fastest meet in the nation.“
Kucera held eight school records – five individual, three relays – by season’s end. She was named Big West Athlete of the Year for her efforts.
Kucera doesn’t limit her work in the pool to the area between lanes, though. She also plays driver for the UC Davis women’s water polo team.
Outside the pool, Kucera is also a rodeo competitor, specializing in barrel racing and team roping. She competed during the offseason in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, and was ranked 16th in the circuit.
– Andrea Gutierrez