By: Andrew Rich
FRESNO, Calif. -- Cheyenne Coffman, a volunteer assistant with the Fresno State swimming and diving program, opens competition at the 2014 Phillips 66 Senior National Championships on Wednesday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine.
She has swam all summer in the Arena Grand Prix Series and other major meets making a national name for herself all while swimming for the Fresno State Bulldogs Swim Club. Coffman is now ready for the biggest meet of the summer with plenty on the line.
"It's been really cool, just a whole transition from this year to last year when I first came over here to train with Fresno State," Coffman said. "I think it has all been my mindset. I had a good mindset last year, but this year I told myself I could do better and I have."
Coffman has three wins in the 50 Freestyle and another win in the 100 Backstroke. The freestyle wins came at Grand Prix events in Mesa, Arizona and Santa Clara and also at the Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine. She was victorious in the 100 back at the Speedo Grand Challenge.
Now, she goes to Irvine for the Senior Nationals with the chance to swim to make the U.S. team that will compete at the Pan Pacs on August 21-24 in Gold Coast, Australia. This week's meet will also help determine spots for the 2015 World Championships and Pan Am Games.
"I'm very excited, super excited," Coffman said. "I want to keep swimming beyond 2016, if anyone believes that, but I can do whatever I tell myself I can do."
She enters the meet ranked in the top 28 in the nation in four events, including a high of eighth in the 50 Freestyle.
Fresno State head coach Jeanne Fleck can use Coffman's achievements as motivation for her own girls and has nothing but positives coming out of having her presence at practice and in the pool around the team.
"Her coming over here as helped take our program to another level," Fleck said. "The girls see how much she loves swimming and how dedicated she is and Cheyenne loves being apart of our team. She has meant the world to our program and we are very lucky to have her. With this meet, she is ready to explode and I think she will be top four in the country and top 12 in the world by the end."
Coffman opens up competition on Wednesday in Irvine. Results and video of the Senior Nationals can be found at usaswimming.com.
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