Two Queens swimmers traveled to the Olympic Games in August to compete for gold in swimming. Patricia Castro-Ortega, 24, and Dion Dreesens, 23, both competed for gold representing their home countries.
Castro-Ortega, from Madrid, Spain, and Dreesens, from Venray, Netherlands, both agree being full-time students and Division II athletes can be a tough task to balance. Both swimmers spend between 25 to 30 hours a week training while continuing to stay on top of their school work. In regards to their training schedule, “they have to be challenged more mentally than physically a lot of times,” said head swim coach Jeff Dugdale. “They need solid sleep and nutrition programs so that they can recover.”
Dreesens, a sports management major, finds that balancing athletics and classwork is far from easy. To ensure he never falls behind, “I will start my assignments almost immediately after I get them,” said Dreesens. Castro-Ortega, a senior, is majoring in business administration and marketing while still swimming every day. She prefers to use her planner and her weekends to set aside time for each assignment that is due in the upcoming days. She also uses her time between practices and classes to study and do homework.