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Swimming takes on cancer with ‘Hour of Power’

By Brian Sobotko '16

November 14, 2013

From helping clean up neighbors’ lawns to auctioning themselves off and donating the proceeds, Hamilton athletes are no strangers to community outreach. The swimming and diving team continued their effortsthis week by participating in the Ted Mullin “Leave it in the Pool” Hour of Power Relay.

The Hour of Power is a sprint set done in honor of Ted Mullin. Mullin brought the set with him from high school to Carleton College where he swam middle-distance. In his sophomore year, Mullin was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma. Although the disease went into remission, at the end of his junior year it came back and was no longer treatable. He passed away during his senior year after a difficult battle. In his honor, Carleton began to swim the Hour of Power workout once a year.

The event is a simultaneous continuous relay done at 5 p.m. Eastern Time for exactly an hour. Hamilton split into eight lanes of five to seven swimmers who began by swimming sprint 50-yard relays of freestyle before transitioning to medley relays. At the half-hour point, the team began swimming 25-yard relays at which point the diving team and coaching staff also joined in. Counting both teams, coaches and a few guests, the event totaled over 50 swimmers.

Members of the team were very excited to contribute to a worthwhile cause. “The event means the world to me, being able to give back through my sport feels great,” said swimmer Ben Fields ’15.

This is the eighth year of the annual national fundraiser that collects money to support research at the University of Chicago into the causes and treatment of sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer, in young people. Over the first seven years, the event has raised over $410,000.

“Not only is it a great fundraiser, but because we all are doing the same workout, it is also a great team building activity. I think it really shows that we all care a great deal about our sport, and love to give back and get a hard workout in at the same time. It is a show of solidarity across the nation for a great cause, and it’s a show of solidarity for us as a team as well.” Fields continued.

The event, which originally included 15 teams, has grown to involve 171 teams last year, including 111 college and university programs representing 38 conferences across NCAA Division I, II and III. The event also included various high school and club teams, a Masters team in Sweden and an American school in Oman.

According to Mary Henry and Rick Mullin, Ted’s parents, as of the beginning of this week, this year’s numbers were on pace to match last year’s totals. As of Monday, 145 teams had registered which amounted to an estimated 7,200 athletes.

The team, which began practicing Nov. 1, is preparing for their first meet, home in the Bristol Pool on Nov. 23 against Ithaca, Hartwick and SUNY Geneseo.

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