Phillip named Rutgers co Freshman Swimmer of the Year

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Elinah Phillip, Rutgers co Freshman Swimmer of the Year PHOTO: David C. Harmantas

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Just before completing her final exams in early May, Elinah Phillip learned that she had been named Rutgers co Freshman Swimmer of the Year, after making her transition to college and moving from England to the United States.

“I was surprised because I thought there could only be one,” Phillip, who broke Rutgers’ 14-year old 50m Free record in the Big 10 Championships after clocking 22.41 seconds, told Island Sun Sports. “But the award was nice anyway. It feels good because it shows that all the hard work I put in did pay off and it was recognized.”

With all the transitions that she went through in moving from High School to University and England to America, on reflection, Phillip said her first year was fast paced, but added that it was fun at the end of everything.

She said that the amount of adjustments that she had to make in such a short period during her first semester, stands out most in her collegiate adjustment. 

While COVID-19 has changed everything from post competition training and transitioning to online classes, Phillip said she has adjusted well, exercise with her family and finds time to relax. While she has workouts from her school’s strength and conditioning coach, nothing else  has been prescribed otherwise.

“But the Big 10 provided access to a meditation app called calm and that has helped a lot of anxiety that builds up around this time, so it has been good to help me relax,” she said. “I know with COVID-19 things will be stressful since people don’t have pools to train in but at the end of the day, once you get back in the swing of things, you can handle it and everything will be ok, so I don’t think there’s much need to worry.”

With her first year completed, Phillip is looking towards her summer classes, which will be done online. Since schools went online with their instruction, she said that online classes have definitely required a lot of discipline. 

“When you’re online, there’s many more distractions around you so it’s easier to get sidetracked, distracted and not focused,” she said. “But, you really have to be really disciplined and make sure to do your work, so you can get the grades you know that you can achieve.” she said. 

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