Horejsi having successful start to freshman season with Gophers

The rookie has already had two first place finishes through two meets.

Freshman Lindsey Horjesi participates in the 50 meter freestyle event at the women's swim and dive meet against Iowa State at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Oct. 30, 2016.

Maddy Fox

Freshman Lindsey Horjesi participates in the 50 meter freestyle event at the women’s swim and dive meet against Iowa State at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Oct. 30, 2016.

Alyssa Hodenfield

Freshman Lindsey Horejsi has joined the world of collegiate swimming without reservations.

She placed highly in both meets she has competed in so far and does not plan to slow down any time soon.

“She’s that type of athlete where she’s a real difference maker, and you can see why she’s so good when she’s in the water,” said head coach Kelly Kremer. “She’s coachable, and she has this great feel for the water. She’s athletic, not only for a first year student, but for anybody that a coach would have a chance to work with.”

Horejsi made her collegiate debut at the Gophers’ first home meet of the season against Wisconsin, where she won her first collegiate race in the 100 breaststroke and placed second in the 200 breaststroke.

The freshman continued the momentum at last weekend’s meet against Iowa and placed second in the 50 freestyle and swam breaststroke on the winning 200 medley relay team.

Although Horejsi is a newcomer to the collegiate pool, she’s familiar with tough competition.

Horejsi came into college as the top high school 100-breaststroker in the country and participated in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

“[The Olympic Trial meet] was fun. I was really kind of anxious about it, so I was glad to get another trials under my belt,” Horejsi said. “Hopefully, in four years, I’ll be more comfortable with that stage and just knowing what to expect.”

Kremer says Horejsi’s standout qualities don’t just shine while she’s in the pool. He said he also appreciates her humble demeanor.

Kremer recalled a time when Horejsi came to his office after practice to simply thank him for the practice because he had left the pool deck too quickly for her to get the chance to speak with him, something he said she does every single time she exits the pool.

“She is so appreciative for the opportunity she has,” Kremer said.

Swimming for the Gophers was something Horejsi simply could not turn down after seeing all the opportunities she has at the university, along with a great coaching staff and amazing pool facility.

Horejsi also had some familiarity with the team early on. Former club teammates Danielle and Chantal Nack were already on the Minnesota squad, which has helped to create a smooth transition for her.

“It was just nice to know a few faces on the team, so that’s been a nice asset to the team,” Horejsi said. “I think I’m getting the hang of [things], hopefully, so it’s been good.”

The Gophers will take on North Dakota at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center Friday evening.

Some swimmers, including Horejsi, will not be swimming their primary events on Friday, but the freshman says she’s up for anything.

Horejsi is also excited to compete against a former hometown teammate, freshman Anna Andersen, who swims for North Dakota.

“I’m just really happy that we have [North Dakota] back on our schedule, because [they’re] a team that does things the right way,” Kremer said. “I know that they’ll give us some good competition.”