Cavalier Corner

December 2015 Issue

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Page 49 of 52

It's been as busy year for Virginia fourth-year swimmer Yannick Kaeser. First, in December 2014, he broke the UVA record in the 100 breaststroke (52.47) at the Georgia Fall Invitational. Next, he finished seventh in the 100 breaststroke and ninth in the 200 breaststroke at the ACC Championships. And then he capped his third-year season by garner- ing honorable mention All-America honors in the 100 breaststroke, placing 16th at the NCAA Championships in March. He also placed 23rd in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA meet. Swimming became a passion for Kaeser when he was 12. That's when he got serious about his training. "I might be talented, but on the other side you really need to work hard to achieve high goals," the native of Mumpf, Switzerland, noted. During his collegiate career, Kaeser has been a three- time all-conference performer and holds school records in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. "I think every swimmer develops a certain strength early on in their career and for me it turned out to be the breaststroke," Kaeser said. Asked what has made him such a dominant breast- stroke specialist, Kaeser smiled and said it's "certainly not my turns and my starts since I always lose time on those elements. The best thing I do is probably the technique and especially my kick. "I can really drive my legs, and I'm really flexible in my knees and ankles so that allows me a bigger motion," he added. "Staying patient and working my line especially, so I'm really good at limiting my resistance and finding my optimal line so I can leverage my kick." Kaeser's biggest swimming moments came in 2012 when he placed seventh in 200-meter breaststroke at the European Championships and finished 24th in the 200-meter breaststroke for Switzerland at the 2012 Lon- don Olympics. He said the Olympics are the ultimate goal for every athlete. "It was a great experience and not just the swimming part itself, but also participating at the opening cer- emony, staying in the Olympic Village and meeting all the other athletes — not just swimmers," he said. The Olympian is looking forward to finishing out his fi- nal season with a strong showing in the NCAA Champion- ships this spring and is preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, where he is aiming for a top-12 finish. — Greg Waters ◆ Photo by Dillon Harding/courtesy UVA cavalier profile YANNICK KAESER Fourth-Year • Swimming & Diving

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