The Daily Aztec

Senior swimmer prepares for final lap

Senior+swimmer+Frida+Berggren+competes+in+the+200-meter+butterfly+event+during+the+Aztecs%E2%80%99+dual+meet+with+Pepperdine+University+on+Dec.+1.
Senior swimmer Frida Berggren competes in the 200-meter butterfly event during the Aztecs’ dual meet with Pepperdine University on Dec. 1.

Senior swimmer Frida Berggren competes in the 200-meter butterfly event during the Aztecs’ dual meet with Pepperdine University on Dec. 1.

Photo by Weicheng Han

Photo by Weicheng Han

Senior swimmer Frida Berggren competes in the 200-meter butterfly event during the Aztecs’ dual meet with Pepperdine University on Dec. 1.

by Kyle Betz, Staff Writer

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San Diego State women’s swimmer Frida Berggren underwent a drastic change after growing up in Vastera, Sweden: moving to the United States as a high school exchange student.

“At the beginning it was a difficult transition — it was a bit of a change. I had to get used to (the new environment) and get to know everyone,” Berggren said.

Berggren recieved area swimmer of the year accolades during her junior year at Lewis Palmer High School in Monument, Colorado, after winning every race during the regular season.

Berggren returned to Sweden in 2012 and graduated from Widenska Gymnasiet school in Stockholm, Sweden, before returning to the United States to join the SDSU swimming and diving team in 2013.

Now a senior, Berggren specializes in the butterfly and medley events, and she has been a valuable member of the program under head coach Mike Shrader.

“Frida is incredibly valuable both in and out of the water,” Shrader said. “She’s a great swimmer and an even better person.”

Shrader said that he also has seen plenty of improvement from Berggren during her time as an Aztec.

“(Berggren’s) grown a lot in every way, shape, and form,” he said. “She’s done lifetime-best swims, her technique has gotten better, and she’s stronger and fitter.”

A growing experience which overlapped with her time at SDSU was when Berggren redshirted to train with the Swedish Olympic Team in 2015-16.

“It was a great experience and I learned a lot from it,” Berggren said. “It didn’t really fit my training and didn’t work out for me, but it was a great opportunity. It was also nice to see how they train, and that was a big motivation for me to keep going.”

Back here at SDSU, Berggren said that she is surrounded by a strong support system, which she credits with motivating her in-and-out of the water.

“My parents, friends, and coaches have been big supporters of me during my time as a swimmer,” she said.

Berggren made a quick impact after arriving at SDSU, receiving multiple conference honors during her freshman season and helping contribute to the Aztecs undefeated 18-0 season and 2014-15 MWC title her sophomore year.

Berggren was also apart of a school-record setting performance in the 800-yard freestyle relay during her freshman year at the MW Championships.

During her junior year in 2016-17, Berggren received all-Mountain West honors the 200 yard butterfly, 200 yard IM, and 400 yard IM, and she finished second in the 200 yard butterfly and third in the 200 yard and 400 yard IM events at the Mountain West championship meet.

Judging by her results this season, Berggren saved her best for last.

Berggren placed third in SDSU’s annual pentathlon vs. USD. She won the 200 yard freestyle against UC Davis with a time of 1:53.47, in addition to claiming victories in 200 yard butterfly and 200 yard backstroke in SDSU’s tri-meet against UCSD and Pepperdine on Dec. 1.

Berggren also won the 200 yard butterfly against Oregon State University on Dec. 30.

Berggren kept her emotions in check during her final regular season meet on Jan. 19, winning the 200 yard freestyle event after herself and six senior teammates were honored during a Senior Day ceremony.

“I didn’t realize until the day after the meet actually happened that (the dual meet vs. USD) was the last meet I would ever do in this pool and with this team,” Berggren said.

Berggren intends on returning to Sweden after this semester.

“I’m going to go home over summer to stay with my family, work, and keep swimming,” she said.

Berggren’s next challenge is competing in the Mountain West Championships on Feb. 14-16 in San Antonio, Texas, and one of her goals is to come away with a Mountain West Conference title.

“One of my goals is to win conference, so we’ll see… if I achieve that goal,” Berggren said. “Another one of my goals is to stay focused on a day-to-day basis and live in the moment — I think I’ve achieved that.”

Shrader admits that it will be tough to see Berggren go following her final meet.

“I’m going to miss her, the person. She’s just a great person — somebody you love seeing everyday,” Shrader said. “You love coming to work and getting to coach people like that. She’s very special.”

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