Madisyn Cox: Relaxed and Swimming Fast

Madisyn Cox: Relaxed and Swimming Fast

By Mike Watkins//Contributor  | Friday, October 20, 2017

USA Swimming fans - don't miss the USA College Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. MT and Sunday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m PT / 11:30 p.m. MT.  

Saturday's event will air live on Pac-12 Los AngelesPac-12 Oregon and Pac-12 Washington, while Sunday's event will air live nationally on Pac-12 Network, as well as on Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Los Angeles.  See viewing options at the end of this article or visit pac12.com

After a regimented summer – swimming her signature 200 individual medley first at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships and again at the FINA World Championships, winning bronze in the process – Madisyn Cox is excited about competing in a less-structured meet this weekend in Los Angeles.

She’s heading to L.A. from Austin, Texas, for the College Challenge – a meet featuring the U.S. National Team versus the Pac-12.

The format will pit Cox and many of her National teammates against the best of the Pac-12 in a competitive but more relaxed format.

“I’m definitely looking forward to swimming some events I don’t usually get to in a laid-back meet format,” she said. “It’s very much like a collegiate dual in that we swim many events, so I know I’ll be competing in a lot of different events. I won’t even know which ones until I get there.”

Cox added that a meet of this kind isn’t about times – it’s just about racing, which she loves most about swimming.

Her performance will also give her and her coaches some insight into where she is in her swimming and training moving forward.

Now that she’s done with her collegiate career at Texas, Cox is training full time with Longhorn Swimming – racing with the men and Eddie Reese in the mornings and the women’s collegiate team and Carol Capitani in the afternoon.

She said she enjoys the variety of training with and racing both genders, and she believes doing both is helping make her even faster over the long haul.

“Racing against guys changes the environment for me and provides an extra challenge; I also think it’s making me faster,” she said. “The bulk of my training is still with the women, but adding that extra session is helping me a lot. It’s refreshing and will benefit me in the long-term.”

After making her first World Championship team and swimming fast enough to win a bronze medal in Budapest as well as gold as a member of the 800 freestyle relay, Cox is already competing at a very high level and said she feels she continues to get even faster.

Being able to focus on school – she has one more full semester next year before she graduates pre-med from Texas in May 2018 – and swimming is also setting her up for a great future.

With medical school in the not-too-distant future – she’ll take the MCAT next year and then apply to schools after she gets her results – Cox is unsure how long she’ll continue swimming.

But having grown up dreaming of swimming of being an Olympian since she started swimming as a 4-year-old, Cox said she anticipates competing through 2020 for a shot at Tokyo – and then she’ll decide how to proceed from there.

“I’m not sure yet what I want to specialize in our where I want to attend medical school, but I’m leaning toward dermatology because I had a doctor when I was younger who was really good and let me shadow him,” said Cox, a neuroscience major at Texas. “That experience definitely got me interested, but we’ll see how things go. Stanford has a great medical school, and Texas has a good school, so I’ve got some options.”

But right now, Cox said she’s focused on her swimming – a renewed loved that reached new levels following the 2016 Olympic Trials.

She went to Omaha expecting to win a spot on the Rio team but came up just short with two fourth-place finishes in the 200 and 400 individual medley events.

After finishing strong in the 400 IM – her weaker event of the two – at the beginning of the meet, she went into the 200 IM near the end feeling really great about her chances of making the team.

“I approached the 200 IM feeling really confident, but in retrospect, I was probably a little overconfident, and that affected my swim in the final,” she said. “Even though things didn’t go as I wanted them to, I knew that wasn’t the end for me. I wanted more, and I was ready to work for it.”

While she was disappointed in her finishes, Cox said she decided to use the experience to fuel her passion moving forward.

“I remember walking away from the meet and telling myself when I swam again, I would be ready to compete at my highest level,” said Cox, who won two bronze medals in the IM events last December at Short Course World Championships.

“I was really happy for my friends and teammates who made the Olympic team and to see their dreams come true also motivated me to want to be there with them next time. I told myself I never wanted to be on this side of disappointment again.”

And she hasn’t. At Worlds, while standing on the podium, bronze medal gleaming around her neck, Cox said she felt an overwhelming sense of pride for her country and for her teammates.

It’s a feeling she said she’s eager to feel again…and again and again.

“I believe everything happens for a reason, and the results from this past summer are a testament to the hard work and focus I’ve had the past year to get to the next level,” Cox said. “At Trials, Carol noticed that I walked to the blocks really stiff, so she told me to smile, no matter how I was feeling, before my race, and that has helped me relax and swim better.

“I feel like when I take the water I am in control of my races and can compete with anyone. I’ve learned that I need to focus on my swim and not what other people are doing, and that has also made things better. I’ve always been very competitive – playing cards, board games, etc. – so I’m finding ways to channel that competitiveness into success in the water. I’m excited to see what lies ahead for me in life and in swimming.”

How to Watch the College Challenge

USA Swimming fans - don't miss the USA College Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. MT and Sunday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m PT / 11:30 p.m. MT.  

Saturday's event will air live on Pac-12 Los AngelesPac-12 Oregon and Pac-12 Washington, while Sunday's event will air live nationally on Pac-12 Network, as well as on Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Los Angeles.  

If you’re currently a subscriber of Pac-12 Networks, click here to find your local channel number, or sign into the Pac-12 Now app or Pac-12.com to stream the events live.

For fans who do not currently have Pac-12 Networks, you can still watch all of the action for both events by registering with any of the providers in your area, including one of our over-the-top (OTT) partners, who provide live television coverage with only a high-speed internet connection required:

  • fuboTV: Pac-12 Networks latest over-the-top (OTT) partner offers a free seven-day trial for new customers (with email address and credit card info for activation).  By clicking here, you can sign up for both the "fubo Premiere" package and "Sports Plus" add-on package.  
  • Sling TV: Pac-12 Networks first OTT partner also offers a free seven-day trial for new customers (with email address and credit card info for activation).  By clicking here, you can sign up for both the "Sling Orange" package and "Sports Extra" add-on package.  
  • Centurylink Stream: This OTT provider of Pac-12 Networks is also offering a free seven-day trial for new customers (with email address and credit card info for activation). By clicking here, you can sign up for both the “Ultimate” package and “Sports” add-on package.


 

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