General of the Week: Ali MacQueen, ‘20

The Washington and Lee women’s swimmimg team is off to a fast start, and that is in large part due to first-year swimmer Ali MacQueen. In the team’s meet against Randolph-Macon, she won two individual events and two relays, setting a pool record in the process. The Phi had a chance to sit down and talk with MacQueen about her recent accomplishments and her experiences thus far.

Garrett Allen

Phi: How have you adjusted to life as a first-year student-athlete at W&L?

AM: For me it hasn’t been too different. I was a competitive swimmer all throughout high school so it’s a lot of the same hours. But it’s different now because I have so much more free time, whereas in high school it was this cycle of swim-school- swim-home. So that’s taken a little bit of time to get used to; but other than that it hasn’t been too hard. W&L’s been great, though. I love it.

Phi: To what do you attribute your recent success in the pool?

AM: We have had some really hard sets – coach is doing a great job getting us in shape for the season. We started a week early in the weight room, and practice has been hard but very meaningful. The sets that we’ve been doing have been really effective and sprint-oriented, which is what I swim. We practice every weekday in the afternoon, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Saturdays as well.

Phi: What are your strongest events?

AM: My strongest events are the 100 fly and the 100 freestyle, and the 50 free as well.

Phi: Is there a general aspect or specific area of swimming in which you’d like to improve? How do you think you can make the biggest strides in the future?

AM: Currently I’m working on my underwaters. It’s something that Logan [LaBerge], the assistant coach, works with me on, and he reminds me every day in practice with every set that we start. Working on those kicks helps the most in butterfly, so it’s something that we’ve both decided is where my improvement should come from.

Phi: How would you describe the identity, or some defining characteristics, of your team thus far?

AM: I think everyone on campus knows the swim team is a really tight group of people. Sometimes we’re referred to as a cult, and that’s okay because I think you kind of have to be. We spend a lot of time together obviously, practicing every day together, and we all share a very big common interest and are all going through the same thing. I think we all get along really well, and we’re a really tight group. With the freshman class I’ve known the majority of them since February – we all went ED and had a group message, and some of them were on my recruiting trip as well. So I’ve been with them for a long time, which has been great.

Phi: What’s your academic plan for W&L at the moment?

AM: I think I am going to major in Business and minor in either Art History or Studio Art, still undecided. That’s what I’m going for, but we’ll see.

Phi: Other than swimming, what’s your favorite activity?

AM: I love the outdoors and that sort of thing, especially going hiking. I went on App Adventure for Pre-O and I loved it. Spending time outdoors is a big fave.