A Swimmer’s Perspective – A Conversation with Kristen Linehan Omli 

Kristen Linehan Omli title and photo collage.

The Director of Marketing for Competitor, Kristen Linehan Omli focuses her time on sales, marketing, and product development. With Competitor for eight years, Kristen brings with her a long and highly-acclaimed career in swimming and all of the experiences and life lessons that come with it. 

Kristen was part of the University of Florida Women’s Swimming and Diving Team from 1988 through 1991, earning numerous championships and titles during her tenure. Most notably, Kristen claimed the NCAA 100- and 200-yard backstroke titles in 1989 and 1990, was a member of the NCAA champion 400-medley (1989) and 200-medley (1990) relay teams, and was a 13-time All-American. Kristen was inducted into the University of Florida F Club Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Kristen says her working relationship with Competitor President, Brad Underwood, is what originally compelled her to join the company. The two originally met regarding a product that Kristen developed that would fit into Competitor’s product line. While still in the process of bringing that product to fruition, Kristen says, “it became apparent that we worked well with each other and that I could add to the swimming knowledge of Competitor.”

Our team members are the heart and soul of Competitor and we would love for you to get to know each of them a little better. We recently had the chance to chat with Kristen about her role with Competitor, what she loves most about her job, and how she likes to spend her time ‘away from the pool’.

Tell us about your swimming career – highlights, what you carry with you today from your years of swimming. 

I was very fortunate to have a long swimming career (20 years), during which I experienced many life lessons that helped to make me who I am today – committed and determined with a strong work ethic and drive. I had many successes and many heartaches, but all those led me to where I am today and I am very grateful to the sport.

From a swimmer’s perspective, what difference do the lane lines make? 

Especially for me as a backstroker, I would use the lane lines to my advantage. They helped guide me on knowing where I am in the lane, from the 15-meter marker to the last 5 yards/ meters. Additionally, I would pull on the lanes at times to help me a little. But I only did that in practice!  🙂

What sets Competitor apart – both from a product standpoint and a company standpoint? 

From a product standpoint, Competitor takes pride in making sure we put the swimmers first. We think of what will work best for the swimmer and then we set out to make that happen. We research and develop the best products, from material to the ease of the use of the product, and stand behind our products so that our end-users will have the best!  

What are you most proud of professionally?

I am most proud that I represent a company that is ethically and morally committed to doing the right thing. I am proud to work for people that I respect and admire. I am proud that I have been able to build relationships that go beyond business.

Tell us about your family 

My family is my whole world. We have a saying in our house that my late father used to say when I was growing up, “at the end of the day, all you have is family – protect each other.” Our family is based on this advice. When my husband and I got married, we committed to making our family the first priority. We are all extremely close and truly enjoy each other.  

My husband Craig and I met in college through our roommates. He went to Davidson College and I went to the University of Florida…it’s a funny story about our meeting, but we will save that for another day! We have three children – our daughter Madison is 25, our son Hunter is 23 yrs old, and our son Wyatt is 18 years old. I could go on and on about my family …

How do you like to spend your free time? 

I typically spend my free time with my family. We all enjoy exercising, being outdoors, at the beach, and we watch a lot of soccer games. (All three children and my husband played soccer all their lives and through college.) I am also energized by reading and by volunteering with an organization that my husband and I run. Simple things make me happy.