Swimming prepares for coming season

With a talented incoming freshman class, new leadership, and many goals in mind, the Colby swim team hopes to make big strides towards a winning season. After the men and women placed 10th and ninth respectively at the NESCAC Championships last year, both teams are hoping to further the  potential that began to show late in the regular season last year.        

The men’s team finished out their regular season with a record of 4-4, and won  four out of their last six last meets against Trinity College, Brandeis University, Wesleyan University, and Norwich University. They placed 10th at the NESCAC Championships, where Vincent Galea  ’15 shattered three individual school records in the 50, 100, and 200 free, and assisted John Blackburn ’17, John Devine ’18, and Ryan Bachur ’15 in breaking the school’s 400 free record. Now, with the potential of talented newcomers and the addition of new Assistant Coach Malena Gatti, the men’s team hopes to build off of last season’s late success. Captain Nick Kim ’16 stresses consistency as the key to a stronger season. “We always want to get rid of those little blips that occur every once in awhile,” Kim said.  “It’s hard to have complete focus at every practice, but that’s what we need to strive for.” Returning team member Gavin Blake ’18 is just excited to begin racing again. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do this year,” he said.

The women’s team also finished out their regular season last year with a record of 4-4. They placed ninth at the NESCAC Championships, where Katie Discipio ’17 broke the school’s 400 IM record with a time of 4:33.66. With crucial top-eight places late on the first day, the Mules were able to edge past Hamilton College. Similar to the men, the women are looking to finish what they started at the end of last season with the help of talented new freshmen.  “The past few years have been a transition period for the team as we focus on being competitive, especially within the conference. Our team is the fastest group of women we’ve had in recent years, so we are all really excited to see just how successful we can be in dual meets as well as at NESCACs in February,” said  senior captain Morganne Hodsdon ’16. “Last year we had an impressive showing at NESCACs, but I’m confident that if we keep working as hard as we have been in the past two weeks we will definitely turn some heads this year.”

Both teams are looking to gain  more confidence this season. Blake said,  “I think it’s important to go into every meet knowing that we have the ability to do what we need to.” Kim added, “It’s frightening to race the 200 freestyle, to try new lifts, to put yourself in an uncomfortable set in practice, but it’s also exhilarating and satisfying to know that you left it all in the pool.” He continued, “I hope everyone comes to realize that courage is not innate. It is something that slowly becomes melded into your character.”

Of course, both captains are relying on the leadership from returning swimmers as well. Hodsdon said,  “the returning members have done a great job staying focus on individual and team goals, and that attitude will be key this year. Our goal is to get seventh this year at NESCACs, and this can only happen if our returning members keep their competitive nature and encourage everyone on the team to success. The team already has a driven and enthusiastic mindset, which can only mean good things for the season overall.” Catherine Cimini ’18 also stressed the importance of the  team maintaining their chemistry. “Swimming is not an easy sport physically or mentally and it is crucial to have a strong and cohesive team to train and perform at a high level,” she said.  “Our team is incredibly supportive of each other and demonstrates this support every day in practice and in meets.” The Mules kick off their season against Amherst on November 21.

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