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3/19/2013 8:00:00 AM
Megan Burley looks back at UW-Green Bay swimming career
Phoenix senior swims well at conference meet to cap season
Megan Burley (left) receives flowers on senior night earlier this season. Burley closed out her season with a strong conference meet. Photograph courtesy of UW-GB athletic department
Megan Burley (left) receives flowers on senior night earlier this season. Burley closed out her season with a strong conference meet. Photograph courtesy of UW-GB athletic department

Bryan Rose
Sportswriter


It was fitting for Megan Burley to end her UW-Green Bay swimming career at the Horizon Conference meet.
It was that same meet four years earlier that reminded Burley, a Lakeland Union High School graduate, why she put in so many long hours as a student-athlete.
“My freshman year was my most difficult year,” Burley said. “I struggled to find the point in working so hard when I could just as easily quit. Competing in my first conference meet reminded me why I loved swimming so much. Swimming allowed me to be on a team, compete, and find value in working hard.”
With that in mind, Burley became one of the top swimmers for the Phoenix and she proved that at the recent Horizon meet where she finished no worse than fifth in six events.
“I have been swimming for 16 years and was fortunate to end on a good note. Going strong to the end is something every athlete dreams of doing.”
Burley’s top finish overall came in the 400 individual medley where she took second with a mark of 4:25.87, more than three seconds better than her seed time.
She added a pair of individual third place finishes, as she completed the 200 individual medley in 2:04.67 and ended up with a time of 2:06.36 in the 200 butterfly.
Burley also swam on three relay squads. Her 800 freestyle team took third overall with a time of 7:29.83, while her 400 freestyle team took fourth with a time of 3:27.99.
She closed out the championship with a fifth place finish in the 200 freestyle relay with a mark of 1:35.86.
“After six hard months of training, the conference championships was the time to put all our dedication to work and perform at our greatest,” Burley said.
She added her finish in the 200 individual medley was special because one of her teammates, Heather Bodin, finished just ahead of her in second place.
“I was able to go second/third with fellow senior Heather Bodin in the 200 IM,” Burley said. “When you work so hard alongside someone for four years, it is an awesome feeling to end alongside them as well.”
Burley said that race and the championships as a whole showed how much a family the Phoenix swim team had become.
“Through all the swim meets, practices, training trips and bus rides, I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by a team of great people,” Burley said. “I will miss being part of such a fun team.”
Being part of a team is not the only thing Burley will take away from her time on the Phoenix swim team.
“Swimming at the Division 1 level has taught me many qualities that will translate to my future,” Burley said. “I have learned excellent time management skills by balancing the demands of swimming and school, all while being successful at both.”
Burley was also looked up to by the team, which honored her by making the senior swimmer one of their leaders.
“Being captain this year had allowed me to take a leadership role within the team and learn the importance of leading by example,” Burley said.
With her collegiate swimming career over, Burley will now be able to put all her efforts into the next phase of her education.
“In May, I will graduate with a human biology-health science emphasis degree with a minor in chemistry,” she said. “This fall I will be attending pharmacy school either at the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I very much look forward to putting my energy toward studying to become a pharmacist.”
Burley said swimming will always be a part of her lifestyle even if her competitive career is over.
“Although my swimming career is over, I still plan on having an active lifestyle, living happy and healthy,” she said.
Bryan Rose may be reached via email at sports@lakelandtimes.com.



Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: Karen Baker

Megan Burley is an exceptional young lady. Best of luck, Megan, as you prepare to graduate and continue your academic endeavors attending pharmacy school! You are a role model to many!




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