Winning Legacy

Dustin Veurink

Dustin Veurink

Katie Budahl has made a name for herself on the women’s swimming and diving team in her two years at SDSU.

At her last Summit League Championships, and possibly the last meet of her career, Budahl broke the conference record and school record in the 100 breaststroke, and she helped the 200 medley relay team break the school record on day two of the meet. She continued her winning ways into day three, breaking the conference record and school in the 200 breaststroke. Her victory in the 200 made her 10-for-10 in the event this season.

“With ‘B’ cuts in both 100 and 200 breaststroke, we are hoping her season isn’t over, and that she will be selected to represent SDSU at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in March,” said head coach Brad Erickson.

Budahl, a senior educational administration major and a Mitchell, S.D., native, credits her success to a friend’s invite.

“One of my best friends, Kelsey Hearnen, swam when she was younger, and she always had to go to swim practice at night,” said Budahl. “So one night she asked me to go with her, and ever since, I have been swimming.”

Budahl was initially enrolled at the University of Minnesota after a very successful career at Mitchell High School. Something wasn’t right, though, so after her sophomore year, she transferred to SDSU.

Her junior year, Budahl broke the school records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke many times, and in that same year Budahl did something that no other Jackrabbit had done before. At the first day of the Summit League Championships, she won the 200-yard breaststroke. This victory earned her an individual conference title, and she was the first Jackrabbit to do this since SDSU moved to Division I.

“I want to be remembered as the first woman swimmer to qualify for the NCAAs and to win a conference championship in 24 years with a Summit League record,” said Budahl.

Budahl was also a part of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams that set school records at the championships that year.

Budahl’s dominance continued her senior year, as she broke both of her own school records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.

Erickson said coaching Budahl has been a positive experience and is going to miss her “enthusiasm for the sport.”

“Katie has been great to coach,” said Erickson. “? She is not afraid to work hard and set very high goals for herself.”

In just two years at SDSU, Budahl has had a wonderful career, accumulating 40 victories and setting two individual and two relay records.

“The biggest thing I will miss is the competition and the friends I have made on the team,” said Budahl. “I will also miss the structure of the team and the responsibilities of being a teammate.”

In the future, Budahl wants to teach and coach, and she plans to swim after SDSU.

“Swimming will always be a part of my life. I don’t think I could ever give it up,” said Budahl. “I want to eventually become a member of a masters swim program.”