by Cody Olivas
Mail Staff Writer
Elise Mishmash has found a new team to compete for after she graduates from Salida High School in the spring. Mishmash signed her national letter of intent Monday to swim for Minnesota State University-Mankato.
“It’s a relief to be done with it,” Mishmash said, adding that signing early puts her “ahead of the game.”
Mishmash captured Salida’s first high school state swimming title last year in the 100 freestyle.
Mishmash said she knew she wanted to swim in college, but she didn’t want to stay in Colorado and didn’t want to swim in an outdoor pool.
After ruling out those places, Mishmash said she emailed coaches and went on a bunch of unofficial visits with her dad, Randy, to find a school that was right for her.
Initially, she almost scratched Mankato off her list. When she went back for an official visit, however, she said, “Everything clicked.”
“I liked the campus, the school is the right size, I liked the team and the coaches,” she said.
Mishmash said she also considered the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
Eventually, however, she decided to become a Maverick and scored a scholarship to become one.
Right now, she said she’s planning to continue swimming the freestyle in college, but that could change. In addition to a 100 freestyle state title, she finished second in the 200 free last year while placing second and third in the same two events as a sophomore.
“I’ve traveled to Pueblo for the last six years and felt like I’ve done too much work to let it go,” Mishmash said about achieving her goal to swim in college.
Mankato competes in the NCAA Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, taking second in the conference last spring after winning it in 2018.
While she may already be committed to a college, Mishmash isn’t about to rest on her laurels.
“My goals are still high,” she said. “Obviously I want to perform high and show my coach I can compete.”