BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Maddy Berkman came into her sophomore year on the Middlebury College women’s swimming team with a new approach.
The Briarcliff Manor High School graduate enjoyed a successful college freshman year, which included a relay berth in the NCAA Division III women’s swimming championships. Berkman said she is much more relaxed this season, and the results have shown.
The former Briarcliff great is making an impact in every meet. Berkman has either won or finished second in her events – the 200 butterfly and the 100 and 50 fly -- and is once again a member of the 200 medley relay team. Last year, the medley relay team won the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship in a meet and pool record time.
“I feel great,” said Berkman, a sociology major. “My times are a bit faster, but I feel much more confident and in better shape."
Berkman had a rewarding performance in the team’s sweep of Colby and Bates. Berkman won the 50 butterfly, was second in the 200 individual medley and was a member of the victorious 200 medley relay team against Colby.
In the Bates’ meet, Berkman opened by swimming on the first-place 200 medley relay foursome. Later, she cruised to a 10-second victory in the 200 butterfly. She concluded her day with a win in the 100 butterfly.
Berkman, who always considered herself a sprinter throughout her high school career and freshman year of college, has been focusing on the 200 fly this year.
“This year I am swimming it very different,” Berkman said. “I see myself with a lot more potential in it, so I am learning to swim it smarter.”
Middlebury has one dual meet remaining and the two-day Middlebury Invitational before the NESCAC championships. Berkman will go into the NESCACs with a better understanding of the meet and a confident outlook.
“I know what the whole atmosphere is at the NESCACs,” Berkman said. “Last year, I psyched myself out and put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m excited, and I have a feeling we’re going to do really well.”