Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

Meissner leads by example


Women's swim team captain Erica Meissner didn't like swimming when she first started.

"I absolutely hated swimming for my first six months--the only thing I really liked was the bathing suit," Meissner said.

Meissner's attitude changed dramatically when she won a couple ribbons at a championship meet.

"It was one of the first times I had experienced success in sport," Meissner said. "My confidence sky-rocketed, and I haven't stopped swimming and competing since then."

Meissner said that when she was 8 years old, she decided she wanted to swim at the collegiate level for coach Richard Quick at Stanford University.

"Though I didn't end up at Stanford, I did end up having the privilege of swimming under coach Quick for my first two years at Auburn," Meissner said. "I must have known in my heart at an early age that this man could have the ability to profoundly affect my life. He did just that."

Meissner said that when she first began looking at college swimming programs, Auburn was far from the top spot on her list.

However, Meissner said once she experienced the spirit of Auburn, she knew she couldn't swim anywhere else.

"Auburn was my fourth choice at the beginning of the recruiting process," Meissner said. "However, when I came on my recruiting trip, I was sold.

"I felt this overwhelming sense that if I were to come to Auburn and compete for its swim team, that I would not only develop into a better swimmer, but also a better person."

Meissner and her teammate Melanie Roberts have been swimming together for almost four years.

"The first thing I think about, when I think of Erica, is how she takes pride in everything she does," Roberts said. "She really epitomizes the quote of, 'Excellence is a lifestyle, not an event."

That lifestyle of excellence is exactly what has earned Meissner the title of captain of the women's swim team this year.

"Our team has goals that lie beyond just the pool--in the classroom and community as well," Meissner said. "I want to see our team excel in all three areas and continue to produce well-rounded student athletes."

In regards to swimming, Meissner said the team plans to reassert its dominance in the SEC.

"Erica is an all around leader," Roberts said.

Meissner serves as an example to her teammates of how to balance swimming, school and friendships.

"By just observing what she does, I know she will succeed, and it makes me want to do the same," Roberts said. "She is also a brilliant student-athlete who devotes the same amount of time and energy that she does into the pool, into her academics."

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

Meissner and the women's swim team is gearing up for another great season on the Plains.

"People down here speak of the Auburn Family," Meissner said. "It is not a myth.

"It is real, and it is precisely this family that has prepared me for excellence in and out of the pool."

Share and discuss “Meissner leads by example” on social media.