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By Molly Poitevint
Participating in a Division II National Championships Festival is merely memorable. But participating in a Division II National Championships Festival as a member of her institution’s inaugural swim team is something Lynn sophomore Tyne Potgieter will never forget.
One of five members of the Fighting Knights team, Potgieter enjoyed much success with the first-year program. The first female swimmer from Lynn to win a Sunshine State Conference swimming title, Potgieter also broke the conference record in the 100-yard breaststroke – a record previously held by one of her current coaches, former Nova Southeastern star Ewa Jamborska.
Originally from Durban, South Africa, Potgieter transferred to Lynn after a modification in junior college legislation forced her off her two-year college swim team.
“Having to transfer was really a blessing in the end,” said Potgieter. “You’re taking a risk when you start with a new team, but I definitely attribute my success to the coaching staff. They set attainable goals and design personalized training regimens that help build upon individual strengths and weaknesses.”
When asked about her proudest accomplishment to date, Potgieter answered quickly: Competing at the Festival is a memory she will always cherish.
“Being here and achieving times I didn’t think I was capable of achieving is really special to me,” Potgieter said. “Sometimes our coaches believe in us more than we believe in ourselves, and it’s always great to see them screaming on the deck for us.”
Potgieter qualified fourth for the 100-yard breaststroke and 13th for the 200-yard breaststroke. She faced strong competition in both events but saw that challenge as an advantage for her overall growth as a swimmer.
“I was nervous, but it’s great to have strong competition because it pushes you to be that much better and to step it up to the next level,” Potgieter said. “I want to leave knowing that I left it all in the pool.”
For the Fighting Knights, their first national meet was a good one. They tallied nine points and finished 26th.
Looking forward, Potgieter is fully dedicated to helping recruit talented swimmers and to building the foundation of Lynn’s new team with her other teammates. One of her main goals is to improve on the small things and to make the most of what they have together.
“We’re like a family,” Potgieter said of her team. “We want the best for each other and that support is what helps move us forward.”
So far, Potgieter has loved her Division II experience and has appreciated her opportunities to swim competitively.
“This past year has been awesome,” Potgieter said. “Our team is poised and ready to move up and compete on a national level. This experience is something I would never have been exposed to in South Africa and for that I will always be thankful.”Last Updated: Mar 14, 2013