Dayna Hogan is shown in this undated photo. — Submitted photo
Dayna Hogan took a year off from competitive swimming to rest her weary body from the daily grind of life as a varsity athlete with the Memorial Sea-Hawks swim team.
The rest did her good as she opted to return for her fifth and final year of eligibility on the Atlantic University Sport swimming circuit.
The 22-year-old Kippens native is anxious to wrap up her varsity career this weekend when the Sea-Hawks play host to the 2014 Subway Atlantic University Sport swim championships at the Aquarena in St. John’s.
“I think it’s exciting that it’s home,” Hogan said earlier this week from the capital city. “It’s really cool, especially since we haven’t hosted it in probably 30 years so it will be nice to be part of that before I am done.”
Hogan, older sister of Memorial women’s volleyball player Krista Hogan, graduated from MUN in the spring of 2013 and is now juggling competing and a part-time job coaching the St. John’s Legends while working toward a master’s degree in economics.
She served as the team captain until she decided to take last season off, which left her the option of coming back stronger this year for her final appearance at the AUS level. She shut it down for a year after experiencing persistent pain and discomfort in her lower back and hips.
Returning to the fold, she was eager to get back into the competitive mode once again. She has been having a blast this year so she believes her hiatus from the team was a decision she doesn’t regret.
“I really like this year,” she said. “There’s just a lot of things to be part of ... we had a new coach, obviously, and then getting ready for this to compete at home, so I’m really glad I did because I’ve been enjoying all that.”
Hogan will be gunning for personal bests in al her events, which include swimming the 50-m, 100-m and 200-m freestyle as well as the 100-m backstroke.
She will just do her best and see what happens, but her focus is more on the team rather than personal accomplishments. She likes the fact more swimmers can avail of the opportunity because the championships are being held on home turf and she believes it’s not a bad thing to be familiar with the pool and be able to have the comforts of home that elude them when they travel all season long to meets.
Putting the team first is just an example of the leadership abilities she has been known for since she joined the Sea-Hawks.
“Mostly I’d like to see our team have a strong showing at this meet,” she said.
“I think it’s going to be really nice for us to have more people than we usually do and that’s the exciting part of it.
“Mostly my favourite part about the weekend coming up I think is to see our all our team perform at home,” she added.
Hogan was on hand to watch her sister Krista compete at home on the volleyball court one year ago when Memorial hosted the AUS volleyball championships.
Krista is going to return the favour this weekend as Dayna takes the spotlight.
And, the exciting news is that her parents — John and Bridie of Kippens — will be there to watch her compete in her first varsity meet of her career.
“They might have seen me swim at some invitationals in the province, but never a university meet though because of the travel,” she said.
“I think it should be fun. Krista had her AUS volleyball championships here last year and myself and my parents went and watched most of it, so that was really nice.”