A final swim

Swedish exchange student ends time in Craig with final race

Kristin Akerstrom got out of the pool, and onto a plane.

Her hair might have still been wet after competing in the A-B-C Swim Meet this weekend at the Craig Swimming Complex.

After Akerstrom's last race Sunday, she had to depart to the airport.

Akerstrom, an exchange student from a small town in Sweden, has been living in Craig for a year. She attended Moffat County High School for her junior year as part of an exchange program.

Akerstrom said she made a lot of friends, something she attributes to being on the swim team. This was her first swimming experience.

"I wanted to try something I hadn't done before," she said. "It was exciting."

Akerstrom swam for the Bulldogs during the school year. That's where she met Ashleigh McDonald.

McDonald's father, Tony, said he saw a connection between Akerstrom and his daughter.

"They're really close," he said. "My daughter talked her into doing (the summer league)."

Ashleigh McDonald said Akerstrom stayed with her several nights while she was in Craig.

"We got to know each other really well during the high school season," she said.

She said not a lot of people from the school team join the Craig Sea Sharks summer swimming league, "unless they're more committed to swimming."

Ashleigh McDonald said that the summer team was happy Akerstrom joined them.

Katie Knez, a member of the Sea Sharks, also befriended Akerstrom.

"She's a great friend," Knez said.

Marin Campbell, the Sea Sharks head coach, said Akerstrom was a welcome addition to the team.

"She's a lot of fun," Campbell said. "Sometimes she was a bit of a distraction, but she became like one of the family."

Campbell said that Akerstrom was out of town for a lot of the summer, which made it hard for her to practice with the team.

Even though she missed some practices, Campbell said Akerstrom was a solid swimmer.

"She's a good free-style (swimmer)," she said.

After swimming, she had to say goodbye to her new friends. She said she was sad to be leaving Craig, but she was looking forward to coming back to visit.

Ashleigh McDonald said she was sad to see her friend go. She drove Akerstrom to the airport for her flight back home Sunday afternoon.

Her father said that he was glad his daughter didn't ask him to go with her to the airport.

"That will be way more emotion than I can handle," he said.

Dominic Graziano can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or dgraziano@craigdailypress.com.

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