As she steps onto the block with nerves in every part of her body, all that is on senior Annette Dombkowski’s mind is getting first place in the 500 meter freestyle race. She is getting ready to swim as fast as she possibly can to help her team in the only way she knows how. She dives in, and everyone can see the enormous effort she is putting into each stroke she takes. Her team and parents are all cheering her on and her focus cannot be broken. She reaches for the edge of the pool and sees that she is the first person to finish the race.
“Mercy Swim has taught me so much over these four years,” said Dombkowski. “It has taught me how to work harder than before and what it means to work for something greater than yourself.”
Dombkowski is currently on Mercy’s swim and dive team and will be a Spartan next year. Dombkowski is committed to Michigan State University (MSU) and cannot be more excited. Swimming has been a huge part of her life, as her mother, sisters, and brothers were all swimmers. Her mom, aunt, and sisters swam for Mercy and in college. She has been swimming since she was 5 years old.
“When I was little, I used to put on a suit, cap, and goggles,” said Dombkowski. “I wanted to be just like my sisters.”
Since she was little, she knew that she wanted to be like her family, so swimming in college was always on her mind. She considered other schools before MSU, but when she toured MSU, she knew it was the perfect fit.
“The committing process is very tough and stressful,” said Dombkowski. “I talked to so many different colleges and to find the right one for me has been a lot of work.”
Committing, however, is not all fun and games. Dombkowski must practice every day in the morning and afternoon and on Saturdays. In the off-season, she still swims for her club team.
“I always wanted to swim D1 because of the commitment and dedication that comes with it,” said Dombkowski. “I know a lot of people that swim for MSU and really enjoyed it so I am very excited to start.”