Postmus makes immediate splash for GVSU

GVL / Emily Frye
Freshman Samantha Postmus

GVL / Emily Frye Freshman Samantha Postmus

Nick DeMaagd

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing marked one of the most memorable sports competitions in history. It was the year Michael Phelps brought competitive swimming back to the forefront of sports, just as Mark Spitz had 36 years prior by breaking multiple records.

Following Phelps’ example, Grand Valley State University’s Samantha Postmus has begun her own career of breaking records in the pool.

And she’s only getting started.

Postmus started her swimming career at the age of 6. Her mother was a swim coach at Grandville Middle School, and her grandmother was the pool director for Grandville Public Schools.

Since then, Samantha’s love of swimming has led her to follow in the footsteps of role models like Michael Phelps and other Olympic swimmers.

“I just love the feel of the water and my mom and sister would joke and call me a fish,” she said.

Postmus has had a long career of swimming since her first dip in the pool, as she competed for USA Swimming Byron Center, GR Novi Sad Aquatics and Wayland Union High School prior to committing to GVSU. Her time in the club swim scene was the best way for her to improve.

“The workouts weren’t as challenging in high school, and I felt the need to do more than just high school swimming,” Postmus said.

The freshman quickly made her presence felt at GVSU in her first collegiate meet at Michigan State University. In her first race, Postmus touched first in the 200 meter IM (2:27.16). She also took second in the 400 free (4:36.73) on her way to being named the GLIAC Women’s Swimmer of the Week.

In her first home meet, a 129-114 GVSU win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Postmus continued to make an impact for GVSU. She set the freshman, pool and varsity record by touching first in the 400 IM (4:29:33), and set another freshman record by taking first in the 500 free (5:05.47) – good enough for a pair of NCAA Division II provisional marks. She was once again named the GLIAC Women’s Swimmer of the Week.

GVSU coach Andy Boyce said her love of the sport shows every day in practice and is the reason why she’s been so successful.

“She encourages others and pushes herself in practice and at meets,” Boyce said. “She is someone who leads by example and she looks forward to the weekend meets.”

While she loves competing in meets and pushing herself to new heights, Postmus isn’t all about the glory. For her, just being in the water and being with her team is what matters most.

“When I started looking at colleges, I saw my first GVSU swim meet against MSU, and seeing the team cheering and having fun and being connected was what drew me towards Grand Valley,” Postmus said. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in swimming, it’s that you need your teammates pushing one another because it’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport.”

Boyce said the swim and dive program promotes a family atmosphere, but it also encourages athletes to be responsible and get things done in the classroom as well as in the pool.

“Samantha represents what a GVSU athlete should be,” Boyce said. “She works hard every day and with more training I would like to see her qualify for nationals.”

Postmus may look back and laugh at the “fish” nickname but, if she continues to improve at the collegiate level, she may be remembered as a record breaker when her career comes to a close – just like Michael “Flying Fish” Phelps.