Success with Honor: Kyle Miranda
April 1, 2008
By Stephanie Libes, Athletic Communications Student Assistant
"No stopping until it's done. If you intend to do something, do it. And, if you really want something bad enough, anything, it's up to you and only you to get it. It can be gotten."
In both the pool and the classroom, this motto is what men's swimmer Kyle Miranda lives his life by. Now, with his senior season coming to a close, the Nittany Lion men's swimming & diving team will have to find a new way to fill the McCoy Natatorium with the intensity and passion that Miranda brought with him to every practice and every competition.
As we say goodbye, we look back at Miranda's time at Penn State and see that it was filled with accomplishment. As a breaststroker, he currently holds multiple Penn State records, while also maintaining an impressive GPA as a petroleum and natural gas engineering major.
"I find that my best semesters in school are also semesters where I am performing or training best as well," said Miranda. "If you let your mind get lazy and you don't get your work done in academics, it is actually harder to bring focus to swimming. It's not one or the other, it's both."
When Miranda first arrived in University Park in 2004 his goals were to have a ton of fun, learn what he needed to know to be successful in life, meet new people, swim fast and make the Olympic team.
He entered the school as an aerospace engineer but after speaking to a family friend who worked in the oil and gas industry in the summer of 2006, the breaststroker decided to change his focus.
"There is no better time than right now to get into this industry; it is booming," said Miranda.
Miranda could not be happier with his decision. The class size of the petroleum and natural gas engineering major is extremely small, only 50 to 60 people, which means he received more attention from the extremely helpful faculty. Additionally, he has made a lot of close friends within the major who do not only study together, but they also hang out downtown, have sponsored events, golf outings, trips to Houston and more.
For the Colorado native, Penn State has truly been a home away from home.
"I really enjoy the chance to meet people in quantity, I'm glad I picked a large school. Every day I can walk around the HUB or on Pollock Road and guarantee myself to see 99 percent new faces. This is every day, I find that amazing."
With his last few weeks approaching, Miranda wants to visit every building on the Penn State campus. Right now he thinks he has been to about 60 percent of them.
"I've really enjoyed the past four years, and I don't want to graduate, I love it here."
Miranda truly left a mark on the Penn State swim team as well.
"I believe that most college aged male athletes think that talent is the fuel that drives their engine," said head coach Bill Dorenkott. "Talent will only take you so far and then it becomes a question of work ethic. At this level, everyone has some talent. Kyle's biggest improvements have been a result of work ethic." However, the future holds something very special for Miranda, a bid to the 2008 Olympic Trials and a job waiting for him in Kenai, Alaska.
The Olympic Trials will be the last time that Miranda plans on swimming competitively; therefore, he plans to give the trials his all and "use everything in the tank."
"I want to give some top U.S. swimmers a challenge this summer and finish my last season by putting everything I have out there, knowing I had nothing left to give."
In preparation, he will try some new approaches to training, trying things he has never done before. He figures there is no better time than now because he has nothing to lose.
When September arrives Miranda will say goodbye to the pool and hello to the ice.
After holding an internship with Marathon Oil last summer, they extended the senior an offer and allowed him to pick the location.
"I decided there was no better time than right now, after graduation, to move up to Alaska. This might be my only chance so I jumped at it."
In the last frontier, Miranda will be managing natural gas wells in the Cook Inlet area. As a production engineer, he and a 2004 Penn State graduate will be working with approximately 100 to 150 wells making sure that production levels stay high and recommending new ways to improve production.
To Miranda, his entrance into the real world is more like a vacation. In a short visit he made in October he saw four moose, one bear, huge mountains and a turquoise river (Kenai River).
"The Kenai River is known for the best salmon fishing in the world," said Miranda. "First things first though, I'm going to be getting at least one snowmobile for my first winter out there and ride it to work every day."
As for Penn State swimming, a new set of freshmen will arrive next year, but Dorenkott hopes that younger athletes will follow Miranda's example. "Kyle's legacy on our team will be one of achievement and success. He has established himself as the best breaststroker in our program's history."