March 19, 2010

By Mike Beas
Special to

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Big venue or small, if there is a self-promotional spotlight anywhere on the premises, count on Georgia sophomore Allison Schmitt being the last one to locate it, or go looking for it.

Schmitt, who three months shy of her 20th birthday is among the elite when it comes to collegiate women's swimming, already has mastered walking the company line.

When Schmitt is asked about her performance -- any performance -- it's Georgia this, teammates that. Then again, it could be coaches this, Bulldogs that. For someone so incredibly accomplished in her athletic passion, Schmitt is savvy in the arena of deflecting adulation.

"Allison is the consummate team-first athlete. That's just her way," said Steven Colquitt, who as Georgia's Assistant Director, Sports Communications, has witnessed numerous times the way Schmitt deals with her teammates and members of the media.

"When she's not in the water, she's the loudest, craziest one in the stands. And it's not for show. Allison is very genuine in her love of Georgia and the love of her teammates."

Schmitt's eventful Friday included an NCAA title in the 200 freestyle in 1:42.84. Later in the evening she anchored the victorious 800 freestyle relay for the Bulldogs, teaming with Morgan Scroggy, Megan Romano and Chelsea Nauta for a pool-record time of 6:55.61.

Overall, Schmitt has played a monster role in the Bulldogs' quest for a fifth national team title and the program's first since 2005. Georgia enters Saturday's final day of competition only four points behind first-place Stanford's total of 266.5.

"It's really exciting. We're still fighting for a national championship, so we are just trying to go out there and do the best we can," said Schmitt. "To win is an amazing feeling."

Notice there were a pair of we's and no I's in her comments.

Get used to it.