Last December, sophomore swimmer Sabine Rasch became the first woman in TCU history to swim the 50-freestyle in under 23 seconds. Rasch set a university record with a 22.96 at the U.S. Short Course National Championships held in Columbus, Ohio.
Rasch’s performance topped the previous school record of 23.17 held by Erica Tate since 2007. However, this was not the first time Rasch put her name at the top of the university’s all-time performance list. On Nov. 6, she earned herself a time of 50.75 in the 100-freestyle against San Diego State 8212; a university record.
A native to Luckenwalde, Germany, Rasch said she has been swimming since she was six years old.
“I wanted to be a diver like my dad,” she said. “But (my dad) said I would need to learn (how to swim) first. So he brought me to a swim club where they taught me how to swim.”
Now Rasch admits she really does not like to dive. She also said she does not like to swim in the ocean.
“I hate open water and fishes,” she said. “I just want to see the pool and what’s beyond me.”
Rasch said she heard TCU had a good swimming program through her friend and teammate Friedrich Grott.
“(TCU) also offered me a great scholarship so that is why I came,” Rasch said.
Head swimming and diving coach Richard Sybesma said Grott is also a native to Germany and assistant swimming and diving coach Bill Koppelman was able to get to know Rasch through Grott.
“It kind of just naturally happened,” Sybesma said. “Sabine won an opportunity to swim in the states and we happened to be at the right school, at the right time, at the right place.”
Rasch was unable to compete her freshman year due to certain state requirements when she switched schools from Germany, but it had nothing to do with academic problems, Sybesma said.
“Sitting out last year was difficult for her,” he said. “She couldn’t wait to be a part of the team in terms of competing, and this year she has really embraced that and has done very well. Obviously when you set three school records and then when you have an NCAA “B’ cut, she has just done outstanding in her career here.”
Rasch said she wants to try and qualify for the 2011 Division I NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in March.
She said she knows her team loves the boost she gives, but the shorter the race the better. Her favorite event is the 50-freestyle.
This summer, Rasch said she also hopes to qualify for the swimming world championships, known as the FINA World Championships.
Sybesma said Rasch’s accomplishments have risen the level of the TCU swimming and diving program 8212; and not just in the water. TCU’s relays have gotten better and the sprint program has gotten better, he said.
“We have given her the tools, but she’s just really a phenomenal competitor, and she is very dedicated,” Sybesma said. “She works at doing everything right. She will develop into one of the best swimmers we’ve ever had. She has a fantastic career ahead of her.”
Daniel Boden, one of the senior captains, said her accomplishments were amazing.
“She’s come (to TCU) and broken the 50 and 100 (freestyle) record, she’s insanely fast and a hard worker. Her accomplishments help with the overall team confidence.”