Swimmer balances academics, athletics, marriage

Lindsey Kozelsky wants to be a great teammate after her time with the Gophers is over.

Danielle Pederson

Junior swimmer Lindsey Kozelsky is the typical student-athlete in many ways.

Like a normal Gopher athlete, she runs from classes and homework to practice, travels on the weekends for competitions, and maintains a social life.

But, in addition to managing all of the latter, Kozelsky takes on the role of a wife and balances a marriage.

Kozelsky is married to William Kozelsky, a member of the Marine Corps who is currently stationed in New Bern, North Carolina.

The pair met their freshman year at Albert Lea High School and started out as good friends.

“We always joke. I friend-zoned him quite a few times and I just loved him as a friend. I didn’t want to take that step and have things possibly getting weird between us,” said Kozelsky.

They began dating the end of sophomore year in high school. Kozelsky and her husband recently celebrated their one year anniversary on Aug. 19.

Though the two have to deal with the difficulties of a long-distance relationship, William continues to be supportive of Kozelsky.

“He was deployed from March until October. That was our longest time apart since we’ve started dating, so that was really trying in our relationship. It definitely made us stronger, and it helps that he’s very supportive of me swimming and getting my education here in Minnesota,” said Kozelsky.

To help keep her mind off the distance between she and her husband, Kozelsky enjoys participating in CrossFit, playing with her Boston Terrier Pug, Bean, and spending time with friends and family.

Teammate and captain Kaia Grobe enjoys having Kozelsky on the team. She said Kozelsky is a considerate individual and is always looking out for others.

“She’s funny. We’re always giggling about something in the water,” said Grobe. “We call her the ‘Mom’ of the team because she’s always taking care of people. She’s very mature and she’s very neat and tidy.”

This sense of maturity and growth is also seen and valued by the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, Kelly Kremer.

“Watching how she’s balanced having elite level academics, elite level athletics and then balancing a marriage as well — that forces a person to grow. She does it all very well,” said Kremer.

After college, Kozelsky hopes to join her husband in North Carolina where she can enjoy sweet tea, east coast history and architecture. She plans to apply to graduate schools, use her elementary education degree and hopes to make a run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Until then, Kozelsky is working hard to make her mark on Gopher athletics. She hopes to win a NCAA championship title in the 100 or 200-meter breaststroke. Most importantly, she hopes to be remembered as a good teammate.

“I hope [my teammates] feel comfortable coming up to me and confiding in me if they need someone to talk to about any part of life. I want them to feel and know that they are valued for more than just swimming,” said Kozelsky.