By Emily Coughlin, Staff Writer
Starting swimming at a young age, freshman Lina Kutsko has worked hard to become one of the St. Bonaventure University women’s swim team’s top swimmers.
This season, Kutsko has earned the title of Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week for three weeks in a row, Atlantic 10 Swimmer of the Week twice and Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week once.
She has also broken two school records in the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, set two pool records at University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University and has placed first in every event, including relay teams she has been a part of.
Originally, Kutsko is from Gomel, Belarus, but lived in Chicago, Illinois for two years prior to coming to St. Bonaventure. She said that head coach Brian Thomas reached out to her about swimming for Bona’s, and she has been so thankful ever since.
“Brian reached out to me, so I came for an unofficial [visit],” said Kutsko, “I loved the campus and the team, so I decided to come here.”
Kutsko sees herself as a good example of hard work to her team, but also contributes a lot of her success to her teammates reassurance and guidance.
“The upperclassmen have helped me adapt to St. Bonaventure so much and have really encouraged me to be confident and swim my hardest,” said Kutsko.
Kutsko said she loves the dynamic her team has because everyone is open to new ideas, and she can help them as much as they help her.
“Everyone on my team is so supportive and nice, and we all accept criticism when we need help,” said Kutsko.
Though she is a very successful swimmer and a vital member of the team, she does not get caught up in her successes; rather, she uses them as motivation to swim harder and push herself to improve.
“I have some good times for just starting my college career, but I am always working to improve in my times as well as my skills,” said Kutsko.
To do this, she trains in and out of the pool and uses her coaches as references for how she can improve her specific skills in each form, which will allow her to swim more smoothly and at a more competitive level.
During practices and races, Kutsko said she doesn’t really think about the long-term results of all her hard work and success, but focuses on what she’s doing right then and lives in the moment.
“I’m not looking too far into the future,” said Kutsko. “I’m just doing what I can now to do my best.”
Not only is she one of the top swimmers on the Bonnies women’s swim team, but she is also a very kind, supportive and helpful teammate, which makes her an all-around great member of the team, said her teammates.
The St. Bonaventure women’s swim team will be racing this Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. at home against Canisius College.