The swim seasons were long ones, but the swimmers stayed in shape and pulled through all the way to the end.
“To start off the season as a team, we completed a team bonding activity at Villanova University. This activity really was a great way to start off the season, build trust and bring us closer as a team,” junior Jackie Ware said. Ware said that the season had some high and low points, but that never stopped them from having fun at practices, meets, and training trips. “Just like most teams do, they have their highs and lows, but we all got through it to make sure we ended our season with a bang!”
“Swimming is one of those sports that you build the amount of yardage during the season and then slowly decrease before championships in order to swim your best times,” Ware said. “Swimming is not only a team sport but also an individual one. It is individual because you are swimming in a lane by yourself, racing a group of other individuals in order to place well, get a good time, and score points. It then becomes a team sport when you try to score points for your team in order to hopefully score more points than the other team and win that meet.”
Overcoming hardships are tough, but it makes you stronger individually and as a team. “One of the major hurdles I faced, as well as any other student-athlete, was time management,” senior Rob Schmidt said. “Being able to do well academically and in the water is not easy. If you have to get a particular grade or get a certain time at a meet, you have to put all of your effort into making that happen.”
The two team recently went to Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania, to end their seasons with the championship meets. “There were countless lifetime best times, as well as many records broken,” Schmidt said. “The men’s team ended up placing higher than Penn State Altoona, which seemed to make up for our in-season upset. We also had a few of our swimmers qualify for ECAC Championships which include DI, DII, and DIII teams competing.”
“Coming into the season, we tried to emphasize the idea of team unity and ‘honoring your teammates with your effort,” Cindy Ikeler, head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams, said. “We wanted to stress that giving 100 percent, all of the time – whether in or out of the pool, in the classroom, socially, etc. was crucial in creating a winning environment. I think we made steps in the right direction, but I look forward to continuing to focus on this in the seasons to come!”
“I think the work ethic and how we performed at practice really stood out to me this season,” Ikeler said. “That definitely translated into the results we saw during our dual meet competitions and at championships. In a tough part of the year, I did see the team start to put aside what makes them different and start to come together over what they have in common, which was also welcoming to see. Overall, the team was resilient, especially in the face of those highs and lows.”