By Scott Eddy, Assistant Sports Information Director
St. Bonaventure University women's swimming standout Devon McFadden will tell you she wasn't the most heavily recruited prospect out of high school.
"I realized all the girls here were from different countries and different states and it was a little overwhelming," she remembers of her adjustment to collegiate swimming. "I knew I wasn't at the top of the game; I knew I was good, but not that good."
Fast forward a couple of years and that statement certainly seems to sell the junior from Owego, N.Y. short.
The leading scorer for the Bonnies this year, McFadden has enjoyed a breakout season – one that continued Thursday at the Atlantic 10 Championships as she set a new school record in the 200 IM with her time of 2:02.80.
That time was nearly two seconds better than her previous best set this past December at the Akron Invitational. It is just a continuation of a tremendous season that has seen her star in the backstroke, butterfly and IM.
"It all comes down to confidence," she says. "In college you're up against the best swimmers in the country so if you're not spot on in every aspect of a race you're going to get bumped down. You have to step up your game and hit the details perfectly every day in practice."
McFadden joined St. Bonaventure in part to again be a teammate of her best friend, Luci Kovalovsky, who also went to Owego Free Academy.
After only swimming preliminary events at the conference championships as a freshman, the victories began to come last year and have only multiplied this season in her third campaign for the Bonnies. She first broke the school record in the 200 IM with a 2:04.17 in Akron this past December and has posted career-best times in nearly event she has swam in this year.
"This past year I finally got adjusted completely to what I needed to do," she says. "This past year I could see the benefit of the work I was putting in."
That work culminates for McFadden and the rest of her Bonnies teammates this week at the Atlantic 10 Championships, an event the team has prepped for since the first day of the season's training.
"It blows my mind some times when I think we've trained all out for seven months for this one week," she said. "It's a day-by-day process. You have to have the mentality of thinking about the days and weeks ahead and putting in the work each day. We have the mid-season meet and that helps to know that you're on the right track."
While McFadden has high hopes for herself at the A-10 conference meet, she and many of her teammates will be just as excited to pull for the Bonnies Class of 2017 – Taylor Hodges, Bridget Jordan, Emily Quinn and Maggie Woods.
"I am excited for my races, but I'm even more excited for everyone else," McFadden said. "I'm really excited to see how our seniors do. They've fought through so much adversity and I know they're going to kill it."
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