FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Tonight for Nanook Corner we talk to a swimmer who will be representing the University at the highest level, the NCAA Championships.
One Alaska Swimmer earned an invitation to the National Swimming and Diving Championships, and she has been making waves since debuting for the Nanooks. Sophomore Oda Bygdnes will be competing in the 100 yard butterfly.
"I had a feeling and Scott told me there was a very good chance so I kept on training after Conference. And it turned out to work out just the way I wanted," said Bygdnes.
Bygdnes, who came to the University of Alaska from Harstad Norway, is already a decorated member of the Nanook Swim team. As a freshman she finished with 27 top five finishes and 17 in first place. This year Bygdness has finished in the top five of nearly every event she competed in and finished second in the Conference Championships for the 100 yard butterfly. She is the first Nanook Swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Cassidy Heaton in the 2016-2017 season.
"It's like everything pays off. We have a relatively short but intense season and we put so many hours in the pool and the coaching staff puts in so many hours on deck... Early mornings and afternoons and it feels great," said Bygdnes.
The Swimming and Diving national championships will be held in Indianapolis Indiana from March 13th to the 16th. Bygdnes will be competing in the 100 yard butterfly on March 14th.
"I was told that it's the upperclassmen, Juniors and Seniors, who get to participate in NCAAs. That I make it my Sophomore year, that's just the bonus. I'm very very happy. If I can handle the nerves... No.. just stay calm and trust the process and trust that I've put down the work. There's nothing I can do at the moment. I've done my hours and just trust it," said Bygdnes.