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Redshirt freshman Megan Fox and the Virginia women’s swimming team heads to Auburn, Ala., this week for the NCAA Championships. Fox is one of seven swimmers who will compete for the first time at the national meet, which runs Thursday through Saturday. A native of Livonia, Mich., Fox won both the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly at the ACC Championships in February. She recently caught up with to talk about her success at the ACC Championships, the team’s preparation for NCAAs and her journey to UVa.

Question: How was your first experience at the ACC Championships last month?
I went in with the mentality that I hadn’t tapered in two years and I just wanted to have fun. I knew I had done all the work to go the times I wanted. A lot of people, in the back of their minds, didn’t think I could go that fast. But I knew I could, so I didn’t really think about it. I was excited. I don’t get nervous before my races because I know it’s just a race. It doesn’t define me as a person. I got up on the blocks and had fun with it. The atmosphere at ACCs was amazing. Setting the score at 0-0 every day just got everyone more excited to swim fast.

Question: What is the team’s mentality going into the NCAA Championships?
Everyone is really excited. It’s hard that Lauren (Perdue) isn’t going to be there because we all love her and she just brings something different to the team that no one else brings. We know she is there with us in spirit and we are going to swim well for her. We are bringing a huge group of girls, which will be a lot of fun. I know for me, I want to go after (former Cavalier) Claire (Crippen)’s record (in the 400 individual medley). But more importantly, I just want to have fun and enjoy the experience.

Question: How did you end up at Virginia and what was that process like for you?
I sort of had my eye on UVa from the start. I wanted to come here but I chose to go to Arizona State, which was the best financial option for my family at the time. I liked ASU but I knew my heart was here. Right when I got there I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wanted to swim for Mark (Bernardino) and I think everything fell into place and it was supposed to be. I am a better person because I went through that.

Question: What is it about Virginia that you loved?
The first time I was on the Lawn, it just felt right. The classes are really challenging here. Swimming has always been what I was good at but being at UVa allows you to be good at both academics and athletics.

Question: What is your favorite event to swim?
The 400 individual medley. It’s just so much fun. The 200 individual medley is really hard for me. I don’t think I physically have sprint muscles! The 400 IM is a lot easier for me because I can do my thing and work the race out. That is definitely my most fun race.

Question: What is your major?
I just got into the Curry School (of Education) and am doing the communication disorders program. In the ACE (Athletes Committed to Community and Education) program, I also work with a special needs classroom at Southerland Middle School. There has always been a place in my heart for special needs. I would really like to work with pediatrics. I am actually going to Africa this summer with I am Second and Project Hope doing some medical mission work and building a church.

Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Religion and violence. It was the first class I ever took at UVa and there were only four of us. It was really heavy, the stuff we would talk about. There were a lot of things you don’t want to see that happen in other countries, things that you don’t think religion can lead to because that’s not what religion is supposed to be about. It just provided a different view point for me and opened my eyes.

Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Yoga. I love it. I also love to hike. Sometimes I go when I shouldn’t because then I am really sore for practice! Spending time with my friends. I am also involved in Athletes in Action here at UVa.

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