Katy Volz wins Kruckman Scholar-Athlete

Blugold Swim and Dive captain brings home WIAC award

Claire Schoenemann

More stories from Claire Schoenemann



Katy Volz holds a 4.00 grade point average and three-time recognition on the WIAC Honor Roll

UW-Eau Claire student-athlete Katy Volz has been recognized as the Judy Kruckman Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete in her final season as a Blugold. 

The award, named after former Blugold athletic director and WIAC leader Judy Kruckman, recognizes athletes beyond athletic achievement. 

According to Blugold Athletics, the Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete award is based on “academic achievements, athletics accomplishments and involvement in other campus activities, organizations and community service projects.” 

Volz, a fourth-year biology and pre-professional health student, holds a 4.00 grade-point average and three-time recognition on the WIAC Honor Roll, among other recognition on the UW-Eau Claire Dean’s List. 

Volz has led the Women’s Swimming and Diving team for the last two seasons as a team captain. She helped the team to achieve the WIAC title this season with her eighth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. 

Katy Volz had a conversation with The Spectator about the award, as well as her success in and out of the pool.

The following conversation has been edited for clarity. 

Claire Schoenemann: Can you tell me the story of how you first began swimming and how you landed at UW-Eau Claire?

Katy Volz: I first got involved with swimming when I was very little, I think I was six or seven years old. My hometown just had a local club team, and all my family friends and their kids got involved. 

I met my best friends through swimming, and growing up, we all stuck with it. I swam at Tomahawk High School. I was always very involved with the sport and became more serious with it growing up.

After high school I still had a lot of personal goals for myself within the sport. That’s what motivated me to continue the sport in college. 

I did a recruiting trip with the UW-Eau Claire team my senior year of high school and just fell in love with the camaraderie, how close everyone was with each other. That’s really what sold me on coming here and swimming, and I am really happy that I did.

CS: As a senior on the swim team, can you tell me more about how you have tried to mentor younger members of the team and collaborate in order to be able to earn both the Kruckman Scholar-Athlete award and the WIAC title?

KV: I try to take on the role of being a leader and being a senior captain by ensuring that I am reaching out to the younger swimmers, making sure they’re doing okay, encouraging them.

When I came in as a freshman, I looked up to the older athletes in that way. I think that helped me achieve the Scholar-Athlete award and our team win the championship, because I try to be that leader in the pool, in my personal life and in the classroom. 

I think we all push each other, because we all go to each other for that hard work, and we work hard for each other.

My teammates have been awesome; they are always super supportive and help motivate me to work hard and certainly played a part in me getting both of those recognitions. 

CS: What does the recognition as the Kruckman Scholar-Athlete mean to you?

KV: I was very, very honored. I knew my coach had nominated me going into the meet and I was very grateful to even be recognized and nominated for that. Going into the meet, I really didn’t think I had a shot at winning that award. 

I was very shocked when I heard them reading my experiences and that I had won. It was a great honor. 

I think it has shown that my hard work throughout the years has paid off, and it encourages me that I have good things coming ahead even beyond swimming. 

CS: Is there anything in particular that allowed you to be so successful academically and on the swim team?

KV: I definitely think having both a heavy class load throughout my four years as well as the time commitment to swimming has really just helped me manage my time. It kind of forces you to really take advantage of your limited free time and be disciplined. 

I just try to give my best effort every day, and that helps me stay motivated on a daily basis. I think that has really helped me be successful in all areas of my life. 

CS: What is your favorite swim memory at UW-Eau Claire?

KV: Certainly all of our team bonding activities are some of my most favorite memories. Specifically, our training trips to Puerto Rico. 

My freshman year was my first one, and this past year, my senior year, we went on one. Those are definitely some of the most fun moments. You get to know all of your teammates, get to hang out at the beach; you really just become a family during those training trips. 

Also, our championship conference meets are some of my favorite memories. We all work for seven or eight months out of the year for that meet, so, to be able to cheer for each other, swim for each other and see everyone’s hard work pay off is super cool.

More information on both the WIAC title and Scholar-Athlete award can be found on Blugold Athletics. 

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected].