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A 2:00.81 200 yard backstroker out of Mauldin High School in Greenville, S.C., 5-8 Danielle Galyer became a difference maker for Lars Jorgensen’s Kentucky Wildcats. By the end of her college career, she had become an Olympic Trials finalist, a two-time USA Swimming national team member, four-time NCAA All-American and Kentucky’s first female aquatic national champion.
Her first-place 1:49.71 200 back her junior year also helped hoist the Wildcat women to 22nd in the NCAA team standings. She finished fifth in the same event last March as Kentucky improved to 14th.
“Danielle is really relentless and determined like nobody else, and that’s what set her apart from the pack,” says her Kentucky coach, Lars Jorgensen. “She’s also very even-keeled. That is one trait that made her as good as she was. Oftentimes, you’ll have an athlete who will have a bad race and then have a bad attitude. She would use a bad race to push herself further.
“Danielle truly epitomizes what being a student-athlete should be. She worked hard in the weight room, the classroom, in the pool and was a great leader for our team. She was not the most talented athlete I’ve ever coached, but she was far and away the grittiest,” adds Jorgensen.
Galyer is currently enrolled in law school at the University of Florida with an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Tuesday p.m. Backstroke Set (SCY)
• 4x [3 x 25 on 25 Pace 100 (12.2 hold) + 2 x 25 easy on 60
• 3x [3 x 75 on 60 Pace 200 (42.1 hold) + 2 x 75 easy on 90
• 1x [3 x 100 on 2 min. best avg. (55.7 hold) + 2 x 100 easy
Wednesday a.m. Backstroke Set (LC)
• 30 x 50 on 130 (holding best avg.)
Coach Jorgensen: “This is a great VO 2 max set, working both speed and endurance. Danielle can hold around 30.8 on this set.”
PROGRESSION OF TIMES
SCY 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
100 Back 55.75 53.51 51.83 51.44 51.54
200 Back 2:00.81 1:54.88 1:50.86 1:49.71 1:49.73
This article originally ran in the January 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine.