The University of Mary Washington Athletic Department has launched a new student-athlete spotlight, "Inside the Nest." Each month, we will be celebrating student-athletes from different communities within our department. The focus for April is the Class of 2020.
Name: Noah Carpenter
Sport: Men's Swimming
Hometown: Burke, VA
Major: Mathematics, Secondary Education Program
My favorite class at UMW was definitely Intro to Special Education. My professor, Dr. Russell, was so energetic and enthusiastic about the class and the material, which made me excited for every class (which is hard to do for an 8 AM). As a future educator, knowing about all of the different learning barriers students face is essential, and I feel like this class really has helped me prepare for that.
Picking my favorite professor here at UMW is like picking my favorite flavor of ice cream from Ben & Jerry's, impossible. However, I have really appreciated getting to know and work with Dr. Sumner in the math department. I have had class with her twice and have done an independent study, as well as research with her, working on remodeling elephant population models. She is so flexible with when we can meet to work on assignments and conducting our research due to my practices for swim and practicum for the education program, and I am so grateful for that. I have learned so much from her not only in math, but in life.
Favorite part about being a UMW student-athlete:
My favorite part of being a UMW student-athlete has been getting to know the other student-athletes. In the math department, there are a lot of student-athletes and there ends up being a couple in every class. This was so beneficial for me because there were always other people in the class in the same situation I was, trying to balance academics and athletics. Specifically, in my abstract algebra sequence during the Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 semesters, I became really good friends with Ben Ahrens on the men's soccer team and Paige Haskins on the women's lacrosse team. We always would meet up in the Trinkle study room to work on problems and study for tests, which really helped me get through that extremely difficult sequence of classes.
Favorite thing to do in Fredericksburg:
My favorite thing to do in Fredericksburg is going to all of the local restaurants in Downtown Fredericksburg. I am a foodie, so trying all these new restaurants like Castiglias, Benny's, and Orafino have been awesome. In fact, my housemates and I had started a tradition of going to a one new local restaurant every weekend before our semester had ended prematurely.
Fun fact about me:
One fun fact about me is that I'm obsessed with the show Survivor. I have seen almost every season and watching every new episode Wednesday nights at 8 PM is not a want, but a requirement. I even own a Survivor Christmas sweater. My favorite player is Kelley Wentworth from Survivor seasons 29, 31, and 38 and my favorite seasons are Heroes vs. Villains (Season 20) and Second Chances (Season 31).
Favorite UMW memory:
I have had two favorite memories here at UMW. One was my junior year, breaking 4:00 in the 400 IM. Breaking 4:00 is a huge deal in the swimming world and I had always dreamed of doing it, but never thought it would happen. I remember after it happened at CACs, all of my teammates, coaches, and our parent section were cheering like crazy and I couldn't believe what was happening. Hopping out of the pool, I received congratulations from all my competitors, as well as hugs and high fives from all my teammates and coaches. I hadn't even won the race, but I felt like the winner in that moment. It was by far the best individual swimming moment of my life and something I'll remember forever.
The second was the 800 Free Relay this past season. I had never been on a relay at CACs before, so I was extremely pumped to get this opportunity. Our relay had some unexpected adversity right before conferences when a teammate had to pull out of the meet at the last minute. Luckily, our training group was so strong that his replacement was just as capable and we were able to stay on track with our goals. We went on to break the CAC meet, Team, and Conference records from 2013, winning by almost 20 seconds. Breaking a team record at UMW is something I always dreamed of and getting to do it with my teammates Austin Farrar, Brian Harnish, and Matt Scott made it even more special.
What has playing at UMW meant to you:
Playing at UMW has been a dream come true in so many ways and I can't believe that it is coming to a close. I have met so many incredible people, from the seniors my freshman year to the freshmen my senior year, and have made so many friends for life. Getting to grind day in and day out as a D3 student-athlete is something special, since we all are doing our sport simply because we love it. I will always look back at these four years as the best years of my life and I am eternally grateful to UMW for affording me this opportunity.
After graduating this Spring, I will be returning to UMW in the Fall to work towards my Masters of Education. After that, I plan on teaching, while also swim coaching on the side.
I would like to thank:
I would like to thank every single person that has been there throughout my swimming career. To all my teammates I've swam with at Makos, Parliament, Lake Braddock, and UMW, you guys have been amazing to swim with and are truly my friends for life. To Coach Mike, Coach Peter, Coach Scott, Coach Abby, and Coach Anderson, thank you for helping me get better day in and day out both as a swimmer and as an individual. Lastly, to my Mom, Dad, and sister Kelsey, thank you for travelling all across the US to watch me swim, being the best support system a person could ask for, and for being the best family a person could have.