Audrey Orange ’23 got off to a blazing start in the first swim meet of her collegiate career, winning two individual races and one relay. Though Brown was defeated by Yale 173-127, Orange won the 200 meter race in just 1:51.27 and finished the 500 meters in 4:56.88. Orange, who attended The Chapin School in New York City, was also a member of the winning 400 meter freestyle relay team, which earned a time of 3:23.99. For her stellar performance in the season opener Saturday, Orange has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: What has been the key to your great start to the season?
Orange: Keeping everything in perspective has really helped me. It is so easy to allow yourself to become overwhelmed when you are dropped into a new environment. I push myself in practice so that I will be able to look back over the season at championships and be confident in the fact that I tried my hardest.
How has the transition been from high school swimming to college competition, and what are the main differences?
The transition has gone pretty smoothly thanks to the coaches and my super supportive teammates. I would say the biggest difference is how close the swim and dive team is and how positive the team culture is.
Despite Brown losing to Yale, the younger swimmers on your team performed very well, especially the first years. How do you feel about the potential of the Bears?
I really believe Brown women’s swim and dive is heading places — that is a big part of the reason (why) I chose Brown. The team is full of hard workers, and we all do a good job of pushing each other in practice. Brown has been steadily improving in the past few years, and I believe with the leadership of our upperclassmen we can continue that upward trend.
How do you and your teammates help each other improve despite swimming being mainly an individual sport?
We know each other’s goals and hold one another accountable. We cheer each other on during practice and celebrate each others’ successes as our own.
What’s your favorite race and why?
My favorite race is probably the 200 (meter) freestyle. It’s a complicated race, and I learn something new about it each time I swim it.
Are there any professional swimmers or other athletes that you look up to?
Maya DiRado. Her 200 (meter) backstroke at (the 2016 Rio Olympics) was very inspiring.
What are your goals for the remainder of this season?
My goal for the remainder of the season is to continue working my hardest. I would love to drop some time in my events, but that will only come as a result of hard work in practice.
The Bears will next compete when they head to Philadelphia to face Penn Saturday.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.