The colors are a little different, but Daniel Seabaugh gained his reputation in high school swimming as a Tiger, and he’ll continue making waves in college as a Tiger. Cape Central’s standout completed a star-studded career at Cape Central and will now swim for the University of Missouri beginning next academic year.
The list of accolades Seabaugh accumulated are lengthy. He was state champ the last two years in the 200 Free and 500 Free. He set the state record this season in the 500 Free. He was the state meet MVP in 2018, and won state championships as a member of the 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay this season as well. The Tigers were state champs in 2018, and finished in second place this season.
Ameritime Sports gave Seabaugh a chance to discuss his decision to go to Mizzou, as well as other topics.
Q: Why Mizzou? Why did you end up choosing to further your career there?
Seabaugh: “I picked Mizzou because, once I got on campus and hung out with the guys on the team, I felt as if I was home hanging with my friends from school and swim. I’ve always thought of going to a big D1 school, but I never knew it’d actually happen. I love swimming regardless of how much it hurts, and I’m fascinated with the sport.”
Q: What other schools did you consider?
Seabaugh: “I talked to MO State, FSU, Virginia Tech, and the University of Iowa. It was a hard decision and extremely difficult to tell the other coaches I committed to Mizzou. These coaches were all super welcoming and nice, but Mizzou was definitely it because it gave me the gut feeling.”
Q: How did you get your start in swimming? Was it always a dream of yours to swim at the next level, and when did you think it was a realistic possibility?
Seabaugh: “I started swimming around the age of five and fell in love instantly. I always wanted to be in the pool. Summertime was the best for me because I was outside and or in the pool. I spent most days from dawn to dusk outside running around in the woods, biking, or swimming in the creeks. At first, swimming was just for fun, and then around age 13 or 14, I wanted to start taking it more seriously. That was when I chose attending Cape Central over Notre Dame. It was really close…so close that I even took the enrollment test to get into ND. At 14, if you would’ve asked me if I would be swimming at Mizzou, which is now a top 10 D1 school, I’d tell you that you’re crazy.”
Q: Did you participate in other sports over the years? Was there a reason you exclusively stuck to swimming and eventually not play other sports?
Seabaugh: “I played most sports like soccer, golf, basketball, and t-ball. I didn’t focus on swimming until the eighth grade because of the high school decision. My dad said that if I can get a state cut for the 500 free, then I could maybe go to Central. So I ended up getting the cut, we talked it over, and the rest is history.”
Q: Who have been your biggest influences in the sport, either directly or indirectly?
Seabaugh: “Definitely my most recent coach has had a giant influence on my swimming and outside of my swim life. He teaches me life lessons all the time with his own personal stories, or just the basics of life. My parents are huge influences, just because they allowed me to find my way in the sport world. They never pressured or forced me to play a sport like most parents do when they see their kid doing above average in the sport they play. From the beginning, my parents just told me that, no matter what you do, you must work hard, or you won’t get anywhere. If I wouldn’t have been taught this at such a young age, I most definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. I have a two to three teammates that definitely had a big influence and showed me how to race, train, and push your body to the max. I’m very appreciative of all this, and what I’ve learned from others through the sport.”
Q: What is the one memory from your CHS career that stands out the most for you, and why?
Seabaugh: “I think this one would be like an overall memory. Looking back and watching myself learn from the upperclassmen and how they were successful, and then me taking what I’ve learned and turning that into more winning, leadership, and how to deal with struggle is a great memory. Yes, I’ve been on one of the most successful swim teams in Missouri history, but it wasn’t always pretty, and we had to learn from our mistakes so that we could be great. So I’m appreciative for the lows more than the highs because, without the extreme lows, you won’t have the extreme highs.”
Q: When swimming is over, what do you think we’ll see Daniel Seabaugh doing with his life?
Seabaugh: “Well, I don’t know yet fully. I’m very interested in psychology and the brain, so maybe I’ll go into a field that involves that. I’ve always loved swimming, so I don’t know if it’ll ever end. It’s kind of become a part of me and my daily life. I’ve been swimming longer than I haven’t. If I were to ever get the chance of going pro, I’d take it in a heartbeat. I’m not saying I am or that I’m close, I’d just love to swim for the rest of my life as a job.”
Q: Finally, for all those little ones who have dreams to do what you’re doing, what’s the best advice that you could give them?
Seabaugh: “A lot of people say this, but it’s follow your dream. Put your heart into it, and give it your all. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be putting your all into it. Also, take a chance because you’ll never know what’s on the other side of it if you don’t.”
Good luck at Mizzou, Daniel!
Story photos courtesy of Daniel Seabaugh