Eliza Jacob: The Importance of A Positive Attitude

Photo by Greg Smith, Northern State University

By Rachel Ewart, Swimming World College Intern

ARKADELPHIA- Sophomore Eliza Jacob picked up swimming a little later than the average athlete, but she has not let that stop her from being a positive, determined swimmer.


Jacob is from Anoka, Minnesota where she attended a small high school that did not have a swimming program. One of her friends recommended joining the swim team at a different high school. With consent from both schools, Jacob began competitive swimming her freshman year.

“After my first year of swimming, I wanted to quit because I was really bad at the sport and I did not see myself swimming in the future,” says Jacob. “But when my sophomore year rolled around, I decided to give it another shot because I loved all of the great friends I had made on the team- that was the year I fell in love with swimming and wanted to stick with it.”

It wasn’t until her senior year of high school when Jacob decided to swim in college. After she discovered Northern State University, it didn’t take long for Jacob to become attached to the school.

“I never really considered it since I started so late, and I never dreamed that I would be good enough to actually do so,” states Jacob.


Coming to Northern State has benefitted Jacob in many ways. She has made many connections, plugged into a great church home and found a second family within her swim team. Head Swimming coach Elyce Kastigar has also impacted Jacob’s college swimming experience in a positive way.

“Coach Elyce is honestly the best coach I have ever worked with, she has helped me in so many ways. To me she isn’t just a coach, she is like a mother, which makes being away from home a little easier,” Jacob said.

Jacob’s swimming has drastically improved while at Northern State. She gives credit to her coach and also to the weight training incorporated in the swimming program.

During her freshman year, Jacob dropped a total 13 seconds in her 200 breaststroke over the course of the season and was extremely satisfied with her performance at her first conference meet.

Coach Kastigar believes that Eliza has such strong determination not just in swimming, but in everything she does.

“Eliza is a very good student who is not only focused in the pool, but also in the classroom,” says Kastigar. “She is a leader and a great example of someone who has fun in the sport.”


Photo Courtesy:Northern State University


As a collegiate swimmer, Jacob believes that regardless of the swimmer’s talent, a positive attitude is one of the most important attributes to have.

“With two-a-day practices, and an extremely long season, it is so easy to lose sight of your goals and question why you even swim in the first place,” adds Jacob. “Yes, the practices are very challenging and they take a lot out of you, but when you remain positive and let others feed off that positive energy it makes the practices seem a little better.”

Additionally, Jacob strives for perfection in swimming by setting goals as motivation for practices. She believes that no matter the outcome of a swim meet, the key is to keep smiling and stay positive.

“There have definitely been meets where I have added so much time and become frustrated by it. I started to think ‘well if I am going this slow right now how am I ever going to achieve my goals?’” states Jacob. “But I just needed to realize that we were training extremely hard. Those types of meets just make the good ones that much better.”

Even though there are seasons of discouragement in swimming, Jacob encourages athletes to turn to their teammates when they are searching for motivation and affirmation.

“I absolutely adore my team, they are like a second family to me,” says Jacob. “We are all so close-knit and I can honestly say these girls are lifelong friends.”

Coach Kastigar anticipates more improvement from Eliza’s swimming during this coming conference meet.

“She has positive energy, sets challenging goals for herself and is committed and determined to reaching those goals,” Kastigar says.

Jacob’s goal for NSISC conference 2015 is to break the school records in both breaststroke events.


Photo Courtesy: Northern State University

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Lacey Lorraine Radloff positive attuide.


Ciara O’Connor

8 years ago

Ashley Hernandez