Written by Alexis Barton
In their third full season back on campus, the swim team has made its mark on the conference for yet another year. In the first half of their season, the swim team has made their way to second place in the ODAC rankings, trailing just 40 points behind Washington & Lee. The women’s team has also gained national recognition, ranking at #23 in NCAA Division III standings. This close-knit team has worked to perfect their craft in the midst of a busy winter season.
In November, both teams faced ODAC rival and top competitor University of Mary Washington. After defeating the visiting Eagles, Sophomore, Hadley Baker said that the win resulted in a huge boost in morale for the team. “The best part of this season has definitely been our win against Mary Washington because they are a top swimming school.” With the women soundly winning by a margin of 106 points, Baker says, “it gave all of us pride for our school.” Both the women’s and men’s teams have continued their success as the first part of their season has drawn to an end.
The pause in their schedule, however, does not mean that our swimmers are taking a break from the pool. “A normal week is two practices every day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.” With the exception of two off days in the week, the team continues to improve through daily practices, conditioning, and weight lifting sessions. After balancing the grueling week of practices and workouts, the team rallies together to compete on the weekend. For the next few weeks, the team will take a break from competition, but they will return over winter break to prepare for the final stretch of their season.
What makes their strenuous schedule worth it? “Our team’s dynamic. We are very, very close. I consider my team my family and I love how we can train hard together and also have fun,” Baker said. After working through multiple injuries, Baker says she still finds great joy in the sport because of her teammates, adding that, “it’s been hard working through an injury, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences here as a maroon for anything.” After winter break, the swim team will be back in action against conference opponents before their postseason. Go Maroons!