Athlete of the Week: Julie Byrne ’19, Women’s Swimming and Diving

Leah Fogelsanger, Contributing Writer

Julie Byrne ’19 has been a crucial member of the Bison women’s swimming and diving team during her time at the University. Byrne specializes in the backstroke, medley swimming, and fly. She holds several program records, including fourth-fastest 200 backstroke (1:58.74), fifth-fastest 100 backstroke (55.34), and 10th-fastest 200 IM (2:04.46) times. Byrne delivered a stellar performance on Jan. 26, placing first in both the 100 and 200 backstroke, helping the Bison secure a sound win against Lehigh.

Byrne is a 2017 and 2018 CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-American and is a three-time member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. With these accolades, it comes as no surprise that Byrne is also a core leader of the team, aside from her strong performances in the pool.

“As one of the leaders on this team, I try to promote a fun atmosphere during practice. Over the last four years, I have learned to embrace the early mornings and tough practices. I hope the team continues to embrace the difficulty of the sport while enjoying each other’s company,” Byrne said.

Her favorite memories as a Bison include spending time with her teammates and the milestones in competition. Byrne is savoring the success the team has experienced so far during her senior year campaign.

“I have had a lot of great memories on this team. Some of my favorite memories include our training trips to Florida, as well as beating some of our biggest rivals, including Army, Lehigh, and Boston. This season has been particularly exciting because we have had our best record since I have been on the team, 8-1,” Byrne said.

Her time with the Bison has been filled with teammates and coaches who have influenced her swimming career. Byrne attributed a large portion of her success and inspiration to head coach Dan Schinnerer.

“There are a handful of women and men who have come before me in this program who I look up to and have definitely inspired me to be a better swimmer, student, and leader. In addition to my teammates, my coaches, specifically my head coach Dan Schinnerer, have been a huge influence and inspiration to me throughout my four years here, and I am extremely grateful to have been a part of such an incredible team and program,” Byrne said.

However, her college swimming career has not all been easy. Being a team leader also means that she has to confront challenges that the entire team faces. With Patriot League Championships coming up, Byrne and the rest of the women’s swimming and diving team are focused on fostering a supportive atmosphere.

“Like every team, we have had our fair share of challenges. However, our senior class has done a great job leading the team and working together to create a positive and cohesive atmosphere,” Byrne said. As her final regular season draws to a close, she is looking forward to both individual and team successes in the postseason.

“I think as a whole, we have worked really hard and have had a really successful season so far,” Byrne said. “We have the opportunity to compete at two championship meets—Patriots as well as ECACs—which will be starting within the next few weeks. I think we have a great opportunity to have some really fast swims individually and place very well as a team.”



2017 All-Patriot League Second Team

enters the 2018-19 season with Bucknell’s fourth-fastest 200 backstroke (1:58.74), fifth-fastest 100 backstroke (55.34) and 10th-fastest 200 IM (2:04.46) times

Member of the top 200 medley relay team (1:42.56)

10 wins in individual events

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