On Saturday, senior Samantha Shellem finished up the meet against BYU with three season-best times, helping to ensure a win with a final score of 149-140. Carrying an impressive resume in and around the swimming pool, Shellem is an invaluable asset to the Aggies’ women’s swim team.
Samantha was interviewed by The California Aggie soon after the win against the Cougars, where she talked about her various accomplishments.
How did you get started swimming?
My mom swam, and then I just loved the water so they put me in lessons, and then [the swim] team and, 15 years later… [laughs].
Why did you choose to swim for UC Davis?
I actually transferred here, and Pete [Motekaitis, the associate head coach] called me and he was just like, “Well, we would really love you to swim here,” so I came on a trip and I liked the girls and I liked the coaching staff, so it was just a good fit for me.
You and your teammates have done really well these past few years, a lot of All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation First and Second teams, especially in the 200, 500 and 800 freestyle. What are your hopes for this year?
Just that we can repeat it again. I mean, doing it once is hard, but repeating it’s harder so…
Congratulations on being the second UC Davis swimmer to be honored this year — you were named the MPSF/Turbo Female of the Week, right?
What was your reaction when you found out?
Oh, I was excited — everyone was swimming really well, so it made racing fun. And you know, they push you — your teammates push you every day.
Do you have any pre- or post-swim rituals?
I drink a lot of coffee before every swim meet. I’m all about the coffee.
What motivates you?
It kind of changes throughout the year. But right now this is going to be my last year swimming ever, so I just want to finish strong and do well for my team.
What is the best memory you have had at UC Davis?
Winning both conference championships with my team. It was, you know — it was fun.
Do you plan on swimming after?
Probably not, but we’ll see what happens.
Graphic by Courtesy