Borgenheimer wins NCAA DII swimming title and vows one final season

Updated: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:00 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The last time we checked in with Lily Borgenheimer, a swimmer from Chippewa Falls, she had just swam in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Now, the former cardinal has checked off another big accomplishment.

Borgenheimer, a senior at Colorado Mesa University, won an NCAA Division II national title in the 200-yard breaststroke. She becomes the first swimmer from Colorado Mesa to win a title. Also at the NCAA division II swimming and diving championships, she adds six more All-America honors to her rolodex.

Borgenheimer recalls the final moments of her title winning race.

“While I was swimming in the race, I, you know, I don’t really remember what it was like, but I remember not seeing any girls next to me for the last push. And then I started, you know, my arm starts spinning a little bit more and I was sort of losing control of it.

But when I touched, I think I knew that I had won it and then I heard just this. You know, this cheering from my team over on the stands and looked at them and everybody’s like that and like my family is over on the side just yelling.

And so finally I looked at my time and saw the one by my name and I just remember being like just so grateful so thankful, so grateful for getting this opportunity to swim and use my body and be with these beautiful people, and it was just a blessing,” said Borgenheimer.

And it isn’t over for Borgenheimer. She says her entire senior year she went back and forth on whether to take advantage of the NCAA’s covid eligibility waiver. It wasn’t until arriving in North Carolina, at the championships, that her next step became clear.

“I saw a bunch of five-y next to the swimmers names in the database on the heat sheets and five-y which means fifth year senior and they were crushing it, they were winning, you know, so many events and they were just like the leaders of the pack. And I saw that and it was almost instantly where I was like, I have to take another year like, I have to be here. This opportunity doesn’t come ever besides this opportunity that I have now. So now I keep saying I’m going to be a great grandma on the team. But yes, so officially I will be taking my fifth year and more ecstatic than I think I have ever been about swimming because it’s the final deal. It’s the final year,” said Borgenheimer.

With one more year of swimming, Borgenheimer says she’s always thankful for the experiences she had in Wisconsin, swimming in Chippewa Falls, and knows she couldn’t have done any of this without the support from back home.

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