Kate Hallmark ’26 is a first-year swimmer from Chevy Chase, MD. Her strokes include freestyle, backstroke, fly, and individual medley. On March 15-18, Hallmark competed in the NCAA Championships in Greensboro, NC in the 1650-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. The Maryland native set a Swarthmore program record of 17:17.83 in the 1650-freestyle, ranking 10th place overall. In the 500-freestyle, Hallmark had a time of 4:59.61 in the preliminary round and finished in 16th place overall in the finals, which earned her All-American honorable mention status.
Abby Chang: How did it feel to earn your first career All-American honorable mention? How did you feel about your performance?
Kate Hallmark: It felt good to earn All-American honorable mention. I came into the meet with the goal to just have fun with the experience and swim well, so making it to finals in the 500 free was a cherry on top. I am extremely happy with my performance in all of my swims, and it felt really rewarding to see all of my work pay off!
AC: What was it like to compete at your first swimming NCAA Championships?
KH: It was really fun! Although it was a bit overwhelming the first time I stepped on deck, being with my teammates and coaches made me feel much more comfortable and like I was just at any other meet.
AC: What have been some of the highlights of the season?
KH: The biggest highlights of the season have been watching my teammates swim at Swat Invite and Conference Champs! The entire team has worked extremely hard, and everyone has been on fire this entire season, so it was absolutely amazing to see everyone having fun and swimming fast to finish off the season.
AC: Do you have any pre-game or post-meet rituals?
KH: I have the post-meet ritual of skipping warm down! I hate warm down (who wants to get back into the pool and swim after a hard race?), so after my final race of the meet, I skip warm down. For me, it’s worth all the resulting soreness the next day.
AC: What is your favorite thing to do with the team outside of practice?
KH: I love eating dinner at Sharples and going on walks in Crum with my teammates.
AC: Why did you choose Swarthmore? What is your area of study?
KH: I chose Swarthmore because I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school with great academics. I am currently undecided on what I want to study, but I am currently leaning towards a double major in English and biochemistry.
AC: What is your favorite class that you’ve taken at Swarthmore?
KH: My favorite class so far has been “Black Protest and Possibilities” with Professor Foy.
AC: Favorite Dining Center bar?
KH: Pasta bar!