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Oct. 17, 2011

Columbus, Ohio –

Looking ahead to Friday’s Scarlet and Gray intrasquad meet, Ohio State athletics communications student Alyssa Dombrowski introduces us to some of the Buckeyes on this year’s team. Today, she talks with senior Catherine Eitel.

Catherine Eitel wants to represent – both her Ohio State Buckeyes and someday, the United States in international competition.

And this senior has big goals in her sights for the next year. Placing 13th in the 100m breaststroke at the Big Ten 2010 championships, the Upper Arlington, Ohio, native was part of the Ohio State school record for a 200m medley relay team.

Eitel praises her Ohio State teammates for helping her reach the qualifying mark for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Trials, which will select the team for next summer’s London Olympics. “Every day I train with people who push me to get better, and it’s definitely had a huge impact,” she said. “It’s really inspirational to see people who do what you do improve or have a great season. It gives you motivation because you do the same workouts they do.”

Eitel’s Buckeye pride is reflected in her deep appreciation for the university’s swimming program. “Having the great coaching advice of both Bills [Wadley and Dorenkott] and Stefanie [Williams] has gotten me to where I am today,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to drop all of the time I have since high school without their help.”

With 15 fellow Buckeyes representing a total of three countries at the trials, Eitel doesn’t feel added pressure representing the United States. “I think it is an honor to have the chance to represent any country,” she said. “The U.S. Trials may be bigger in the number of swimmers, but a big meet gets anybody nervous and excited.”

Eitel’s training won’t stop with the conclusion of the Buckeyes’ winter season. “It’s always been a dream of mine to qualify and compete for Trials,” she said. “Even though this is my senior season, I plan on continuing training after Big Ten and NCAA [tournaments] this year so I can compete at Olympic Trials.”

The two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete looks toward her final season with big aspirations for herself and her team. “Personally, I want to continue to make improvements in my stroke and drop more time,” she said “As a team, I feel like we are closer than ever, so anything is possible!”