1-on-1 with Konrad von Moltke '15
This week, I sat down with men's swimmer Konrad von Moltke '15 to discuss his swimming career, the team's meet at Cornell University this weekend and the upcoming season.
How did you first start with competitive swimming?
KVM: Funny story, actually I started swimming when I was 12 because I wanted to be in a carpool with my friends. It always surprises people when I tell them this story, but I think it speaks to the social aspect of the sport, which is something that gets me through those tough 6 a.m. workouts. Once I began swimming, I instantly fell in love with racing. There is no better feeling in all of sports than beating the guy next to you in a close race. I played lacrosse and hockey competitively until freshman year in high school, when I focused on swimming and water polo.
What led you to decide to swim at Dartmouth?
KVM: I was being recruited by schools in the Ivy League as well as Northwestern [University] and the University of Michigan. I viewed my life and my college experience as having three important parts swimming, academics and social life. Dartmouth was the perfect fit in those three areas, and I felt like I could have success in all three. I loved the guys on the team, the coaches are phenomenal and the campus is great. I also really liked being able to help build a winning legacy from day one.
You compete in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. What do you like best about those events?
KVM: Ever since I was little, breaststroke was the stroke that came most naturally to me. It is a stroke that is based on timing and power, especially in the legs, which suits me very well. This season, we have a solid breaststroke group, and it has been awesome to push each other on tough challenge sets in practice and see the rewards of this hard work in meets.
The swim team has struggled in the past but looks to be starting this season strong by defeating Cornell and losing a close meet to Harvard University. What do you think was the key to success this weekend?
KVM: I was really proud with the way everyone stepped up this past weekend. The meet came down to the last relay, and we ended up beating Cornell by four points. We also came as close as we ever have to Harvard, which shows the depth of our team. In these early season meets, the most important thing is racing and beating the guys next to you. We had a ton of close races, and we were able to touch out the Cornell guys on multiple occasions. All of the guys on the team shook off the nerves and answered the bell. Our performance this weekend was beyond clutch. Last year, we climbed from eighth place in the Ivy Leaugue to fifth, knocking off Cornell, Brown [University] and [the University of Pennsylvania] at our end of the season meet, the Ivy League Championships. I think the key to our success has been leadership. Our captains and coaches have done a phenomenal job instilling a culture of work ethic, focus and pride.
Swimming is an individual sport, but you compete as a team. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
KVM: The dual nature of swimming as an individual and team sport is one of the reasons I love swimming so much. In every race, you are personally trying to do your best and win, but at the same time you are part of something much larger than yourself. By swimming fast, you are helping the team achieve glory. We all push each other in races and in practice, and the support and enthusiasm this past weekend was unreal.
What are your personal goals and team goals for the season?
KVM: As a team, we are looking to continue climbing up the Ivy League, hopefully into the top four. We have a big invite meet at the beginning of December against Brown and Princeton [University], so we are looking to post some fast times there. Personally, I am working on some technical aspects of my stroke, getting stronger in the weight room and looking to build on my success last season by posting best times at the end of this season.