GoDuke.com: What has your training regimen been like since wrapping up the ACC Championships late last month?
Christine Wixted: We came back, got used to the water again coming off of taper. I went up in yardage quite a bit, so that was something to adjust to. But then, in just the past week and a half, we came back down for taper again, so that was nice.
GoDuke.com: After earning All-ACC honors again this season and qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time in your career, what are your goals heading into the meet?
CW: I'm kind of going with no expectations. My biggest goals were to make the meet and go best times at ACCs, which I did. This is my first time going, so I'm just going with an open mind and getting used to the atmosphere and all the fast swimmers that are going to be there. Whatever happens happens. I'll be happy with whatever, so I'm excited.
GoDuke.com: What do you know about the other swimmers who you'll go up against in your events?
CW: It's going to be fast. There are a few Olympians in [the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke]. But everyone who goes has a chance of making it back for finals. It's all up in the air - it just depends on the day and who's swimming well. It's going to be tough, but I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge.
GoDuke.com: How does it feel to know that teammate Lauren Weaver will also be competing at NCAAs?
CW: It's great. I know [2011 graduate] Ashley Twichell in past years didn't always have someone to go with, but I think having something there and knowing someone's there cheering me on will be fun. It's a bummer we don't have more people going, but that's our goal for next year. But having Lauren there will definitely be fun - someone to hang out with and cheer for.
GoDuke.com: With this being your first appearance at the NCAA Championships, how are you adjusting to still being in season at this time of the year?
CW: It's kind of weird. Swimming by myself is not the best, but I know when I come back and get back in with the team, I won't be too far behind. It was weird not having a break, but I'm happy I didn't have a break.
GoDuke.com: What kind of advice has the Duke coaching staff been giving you throughout your preparation for NCAAs?
CW: I think we're all still really happy about making it. They're definitely of the mindset that whatever happens happens. We've hit the goals we've wanted to hit, so whatever happens, they'll be happy with it.
GoDuke.com: Will the reality of qualifying for NCAAs sink in when you get to the pool in Indianapolis and experience the entire atmosphere?
CW: It's still kind of surreal for me, like I'm just going to another meet. But once we get there and experience the atmosphere there, it's going to crazy. Lots of people - the stands will be packed. It will be something new, so I think once we get there it's definitely going to hit me.
GoDuke.com: Do you have a cheering section that will make the trip to Indianapolis?
CW: My little sister is going to be there, so it will be fun to see her. I have some teammates from back home who I swam with who are going to be there swimming, so I'm excited to see them.
GoDuke.com: What does your qualification mean for the Duke Swimming and Diving program and the direction the program is headed?
CW: I think it's a huge step in a good direction. I know Dan [Colella], Jesse [Moore] and Dawn [Kane] are very happy with the progress. I think it also looks great for the freshman class that we have coming in - that we're going in the right direction and they're going to be a part of something that's moving forward. I think that speaks well for who we have coming in next year and how we're going to get more people there each year.