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KU Swimming Star Finishes Career Strong

Confidence, preparation prove key in Steward’s success at Kansas 

Caroline Soro | @caroline_soro 

Senior swimmer Kate Steward concluded her exceptional career as a Jayhawk at her first-career NCAA Division I Swimming Championships on March 19. Steward placed 31st overall in the 100-yard breaststroke and placed 36th overall in the 200-yard breaststroke. 

In her four years at Kansas, Steward earned a long list of both academic and athletic accolades, including the 2022 Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award. The senior swimmer credits her success to her mental preparation before she even gets in the water. 

“Thinking of it more like just doing what I know how to do instead of trying to do something crazy for my race,” Steward said. “I think that’s really helped me because it makes me more confident.” 

Confidence is something Steward doesn’t take lightly. She stays true to her ways and trusts her abilities during races, which helps minimize the pressure of high-level meets. 

“I’ve just found that that’s been a good mindset for me because it helps me just relax and trust myself and trust my training,” Steward said of her positive mindset. 

And keeping that mentality has put Steward in position to stack Kansas swim and dive’s record board. She set Kansas’ school record in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke in Robinson Natatorium, while holding the school record in the 200-yard individual medley as well. 

Keeping a positive, confident mindset has helped Steward achieve greatness both in and out of the water. She believes the skills she developed during her collegiate career will equip her with the strength to succeed in future endeavors. 

“Leadership in that aspect is a big one and then confidence and definitely the, just the discipline to be able to do this for 20 hours a week definitely translate into I know what it takes, just in general, that you have to put in the time to be successful at something,” Steward said.