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UND Athletics: Five-time gold medalist Ledecky speaks out about UND

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky let her thoughts be known about the UND swimming and diving team this week. Prior to Tuesday's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee meeting, where coaches and athletes had to make presentations to argu...

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Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky let her thoughts be known about the UND swimming and diving team this week.

Prior to Tuesday's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee meeting , where coaches and athletes had to make presentations to argue why their sports should not be cut, Ledecky posted a Facebook message in support of the swimmers.

"Growing up in North Dakota, Mom learned to swim and earned a college scholarship," she wrote. "The University of North Dakota will consider cutting its swimming and diving programs. Hoping that UND will continue to support its scholar-athletes!"

Ledecky, a freshman swimmer at Stanford, won five Olympic medals this summer in Rio de Janeiro, setting two world records in the process. She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated after the 2016 Summer Games.

Ledecky grew up in Maryland, but has strong ties to North Dakota.

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Her mom is from Williston and her grandfather, aunt and uncle attended UND. Her cousin is currently a medical student.

When Williston opened its new Area Recreation Center two years ago, Ledecky flew in to swim the first lap in the pool.

UND swimming coach Chris Maiello was one of five coaches who presented to the 18-person IAC and UND President Mark Kennedy on Tuesday in hopes of saving their program.

Kennedy asked the IAC to make recommendations on the future of sports by Nov. 1, though he said he will make the final decision.

Numerous swimmers-past and present-came to the meeting to support the team Tuesday, including former coach Mike Stromberg, who drove from Colorado.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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