Grosse Pointe North 2009 graduate Jenny Rusch finished her collegiate swimming career by setting two individual records and two relay records at Michigan State University. PHOTO COURTESY OF AIMEE DULEBOHN
Grosse Pointe North 2009 graduate Jenny Rusch finished her collegiate swimming career by setting two individual records and two relay records at Michigan State University. Photo courtesy of Aimee Dulebohn
August 01, 2013Michigan State University and Grosse Pointe North graduate Jenny Rusch finished off her swimming career in style.
The 22-year-old Grosse Pointe Shores resident set an MSU record in the 50-yard freestyle in the 2013 Women's Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championship meet with a time of 23.03. She also set the school record in the 100-yard butterfly, posting a time of 55.64 in the same meet.
Rusch was also on two record-setting relay teams. The 200-yard freestyle relay had a time of 1:31.93 this past season, and the 400-yard medley relay squad came in at 3:43.03. On her leg, she swam the butterfly, an event she rarely competed in.
Both individual records came her final year of competitive swimming.
"It's a nice accomplishment and all of the hard work paid off," Rusch said. "I didn't think I would break a school record, but I did and it's something I will always remember."
Her time of 50.47 in the 100-yard freestyle, also set in the 2013 Women's Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championship meet, was second in school history.
She was an All-State swimmer at Grosse Pointe North, taking the bronze medal in the 2008 Division 2 state title meet with a time of 24.09 in the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.66.
"I loved every minute of it at MSU," Rusch said. "It was tough to adjust from high school to college during my first semester, but after that I got into a groove and everything went well."
After her four years, Rusch earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in finance. Despite the hundreds of hours of swim practice, she perfectly managed her time to get good grades.
"It wasn't easy juggling my school schedule with a busy swimming schedule," Rusch said. "I think every freshman finds it difficult the first semester or even first year, but then it does get easier.
"However, the rigorous schedule isn't for everyone. There were 15 freshmen, men and women, who came to the program with me and only eight of us made it all four years."
She entered as a freshman and was in the middle of the pack among her teammates, but as her records indicate, she ended her senior year as one of the best.
Rusch also, as a graduating senior who made it through all four years of collegiate swimming, earned the coaches golden spike award.
"It's an honor to receive the award," she said. "It was a very rewarding four years of swimming at MSU."
She competed against some of the nation's best swimmers against Big Ten foes Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, The Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana and Northwestern.
"I remember in my last race I told myself I had to go all out for my last 25 yards of my 100-free," Rusch said. "I didn't shed a tear, but my parents videotaped it and I recently watched it and I teared up. It was a little emotional with all the years of hard work coming to a great end."
Since ending her swim career in February, Rusch has only been in a pool a handful of times and all her time is spent using her degree as a financial analyst.