Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Captain Keeps the Pace

Name: Laura Sytnyk

Sport: Swimming and Diving

Position: Captain

Event: Individual Medley/fly; captain

Hometown: Nutley, N.J.

High School: Mount St. Dominic

School/Year: NHS ’07

Major: Healthcare Management and Policy

High School Highlights: Earned all-county and all-conference honors every year of high school. 2002-03: Swim team Captain, earned all-County and all-Conference Honors.

GU Highlights: 2003-2004: Broke the 200-yard fly record, reset record sophomore year and again junior year . 2004-2005: Qualified for ECAC Championships in 100yd and 200yd fly (sixth place) and 400yd IM . 2005-2006: Qualified for Big East Championships in 100yd and 200yd Fly and 400 IM .2006-2007: Captain, Big East championship qualifier in 200yd fly and 400 IM. Currently holds times among the top 10 fastest in Georgetown swimming history in 100yd and 200yd fly and 400yd IM

When did you first start swimming?

I was five years old. My mom got me started. We always went to a pool club over the summer. I was swimming before I was walking, always in the water. Jumping off the diving board in the pool club was the best time when I was little.

Why did you decide to join the Georgetown swim team?

My sister [Eileen Sytnyk (NHS ’06)] was on the team. I came and visited her. I loved the school and loved the team, so I decided to come too. Swimming was more my thing. She played other sports in high school in addition to swimming.

Whom on the team do you rely on the most?

Probably my roommate Jenny Zocca (COL ’07). We have lived together since sophomore year. The two of us are the only seniors on the team. She gets my sense of humor. She is the only person I can go to to complain about everything.

Who is your biggest rival?

I don’t think I have a rival. I am a personal swimmer; I compete with my best time and myself. My dad always said, “Race the clock, not the people next to you.”

What do you do to get psyched for a match?

I listen to my iPod. I have this one playlist I listen to before every single race. It gets me pumped up. It’s all angry punk music. The angrier I get, the better I swim.

Any superstitions?

I just have to make sure I am listening to music. I always do the same stretching routine before I swim. If I am behind the blocks, nobody usually comes up. They know not to talk to me before I race. My sister was the only person ever to get me to talk before a race. I don’t know what she said, but she is the only person to have ever done that.

If you could be great at any other sport besides swimming, what would it be? Why?

I guess gymnastics. All the flips and stuff. I am really clumsy – I would never be able to do it. But it looks really cool. I am a huge soccer fan. I go to all the D.C. United Games.

What do you do when you are not swimming?

Watch TV, hang out with my friends, take naps . The team is really close, it is a family atmosphere. We have dinner together. I see a lot of the swim team even when I am not swimming.

What has been the hardest class you have taken at Georgetown?

Probably microeconomics with [Professor Douglas] Brown. It was just tough. But now I have to take economics of health care. It is not going to be a fun semester.

What was the best moment in your career so far?

The ECAC meet my sophomore year, I got sixth place, and it was the best I have ever swam in 200yd fly at that point. I still remember how I felt when I touched the wall and looked up at the clock. The 200 fly is a really long race. You are just dead by the last lap. You touch the wall, and look up and are so relived that you are done. I was like, “Oh God, get me out of the water.”

What was the last song you listened to on your iPod?

Taking Back Sunday. It’s called, “There Is No I in Team.”

Freshmen residence hall?

Harbin, ninth Floor. It is funny because I am still really good friends with some of the people I lived on the ninth floor of Harbin with. There was one morning that every shower on the floor had sod in it. I still don’t know how it got there or who did it.

What is the one thing you miss the most about home?

My dog, Button. He is one of those lap dogs. He crawls on the couch and hangs out with you. I don’t think my college house is the best place for a dog. College houses and dogs don’t really mix.

Most embarrassing moment?

Not many people know, but I ripped my bathing suit before a match sophomore year. There was not enough time to change. I had to race with a hole in my suit. I think only two people saw, I am praying.

Dream job?

Ultimately, I want to go into physical therapy. It is going to be a while until I get there.

Favorite movie?

I have two: “Empire records” and “SLC Punk.”Empire Records” has Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler when they are young. I think it is 12 years old now. I know every word in it. It’s one of those classic teen movies.

Favorite TV show?


Favorite Georgetown restaurant?

The Tombs. I love their grilled cheese sandwiches.

Who in your life inspires you the most?

My parents. I’ll be all corny and sweet. They are always inspiring me to do what I want to do and pushing me to do better at what I do. They would come to every meet. I think they have come to six of the eight swim meets this year. They are there for me whether I do well or didn’t do well.

What is the one thing you are going to miss the most about Georgetown?

Just being able to go anywhere on campus and see someone you know, and talk to someone you know. I am going to miss St. ary’s. I spend so much time there. It’s going to be weird not being there every day.

Any advice for anyone who wants to join swimming and diving?

You’ve got to be able to work hard. The whole thing with swimming is even if you are broken down and tired you have to get in the pool and work hard.

Booey’s or Wisey’s?


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