Mari Dougherty has been an integral part of the Mavericks’ Swimming and Diving team for all four years of her collegiate career. Whether it be her cheerleading, hard work and dedication, or just her pure love for her sport, Dougherty has been a great athlete and leader in her time at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The senior is currently majoring in aviation management and holds an internship with Endeavor Air.
The Farmington, Minn. native’s journey began at Foss Swim School in Lakeville, MN where she began swimming competitively in just first grade. Dougherty also participated in other sports such as cross country, track, and soccer, as well as taking on dance before her love for swimming inevitably took over.
Dougherty’s time at MSU began in 2019,where she finished ninth in the 100 freestyle at the UW-Stevens Point Invite with a time of 56.84 as well as eighth in the 50 freestyle against South Dakota with a time of 25.75.
Regarding the energy and experiences she has had at meets, Dougherty says it’s a crowd like no other.
“The energy on deck is awesome, everyone is cheering for each other, it’s an audience and an experience that’s just different from a lot of other sports,” said Dougherty. “Everyone who is swimming in college chose to swim, so there is also a lot more energy and excitement and excitement that goes into the race.”
Dougherty has been an exceptional athlete for MSU, placing top ten multiple times in the 100 and 200 freestyles during in-season and conference meets. She also set two personal records at the NSIC Championship with a time of 1:55.70 in the 200 freestyle, as well as 11:12.01 in the 1,000 freestyle. Her two selections to the NSIC All-Academic Team also highlight her hard work and dedication in the classroom. But it’s been the connections and friendships that have really made her time at MSU special.
“I think the best part has been meeting some of my best friends that I will have forever, there is no friendship like a teammate friendship.” Dougherty added. “You see each other on your best days and on your worst days, so that support system is like a family to us.”
As for her personal and team goals for the rest of the year, Dougherty is optimistic and hopes to go out with a bang.
“I’d say I am hoping to break my personal record in the 200 freestyle, that’s been an event that I’ve been stuck on the same time for a while,” Dougherty admitted. “Our team goal this year has been just to win conference this year, this year would be a three-peat for us.”
After school, Dougherty plans to continue to work for Endeavor Air, where she is currently a fatigue analyst. In ten years, she hopes to be working for a major airline, either in the United States, or even internationally if the opportunity presents itself.
The next home meet is Jan. 21, 2023, which is senior night for Dougherty and the rest of the Mavericks, at the MSU pool located in the Highland Center.
Header Photo: Mari Dougherty is one of the seniors on the Minnesota State University, Mankato swim and dive team. (Courtesy of MSU Athletics)
Write to Hayden Lee at Hayden.Lee@mnsu.edu