Immersed in the overwhelming heat of the large pool area of the campus’ Dixon Center, six women line posed alongside the water’s edge, waiting patiently for coach Michael Kernicky to bark out instructions. They slide gracefully into the water; hardly making a sound, dressed down in their bathing suits, swim caps and goggles. Kernicky towers over them, clipboard in hand, and issues orders that resonate off the water and around the room. The squad launches into a unified breaststroke, making quick work of the laps. This is only a practice, but the technique is nearly flawless.
Despite the hard work and dedication, the Cabrini women’s swim team puts into every practice and meet, and the publications in various newspapers, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily Times, few are even aware that Cabrini has a swim team at all. However, Kernicky is still optimistic.
“We’re picking up fans a few at a time,” Kernicky said, though he admits that the most fans the team has had all year was 40 people. Understandable, since the swim team is fairly new. So new the team doesn’t even have a spot in Pennsylvania Athletic Conference yet. There are only eight women on the team and very few meets. But, they practice long and hard and have a 3-1 record to show for it.
So, what exactly do these ladies have to endure to keep this record? Try long, grueling practices-an average of 4,000 yards a night-which equates to several miles of swimming every practice. And although the meets are no longer than an hour and a half, the extra mileage helps immensely in competition. The swimmers also participate in light weight training, in an effort to keep toned and fit for the strenuous activity.
Swimming on this team is an art and the coach holds the paintbrush. Success dangles on the delicate balance of choosing the right people to compete in events. The meets test speed, endurance, and technique. It’s important that Kernicky understands this balance and adjusts the team strategy to secure a winning performance.
The swimming season allows plenty of time to practice, although the meets are few and far in between. The team has only six meets to compete in between the months of September and February. They’ve already beaten Eastern University, Kings College and Ocean Community College in New Jersey. They suffered their only loss to Notre Dame in Maryland, but have two more competitions to wrap up an otherwise successful season. Arcadia and Ursinus are next in line for the Cabrini women’s swim team to compete against.
Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner