Swim team returns from Florida ready to compete

By Gregory Nabhan ’18

The men’s swim team entered winter break confident in the remainder of their season.  Aided by a strong victory in their annual invitational, the team’s morale sat at a season high.  “It was a great way to go into break having won the invitational… most of the team was back January 1st ready to go,” said captain Ben Fields ’15.

As is tradition, the swim team traveled down to Florida over break to improve their conditioning and get some extra competition before the final stretch heading into this semester. 

Using an Olympic-sized pool on Islamorada, the team trained for five days as they nearly doubled their usual yardage during workouts.  

“We had two practices a day and worked really hard,” senior captain Reid Swartz mentioned. “We get a lot of aerobic training…the swimmers get in great shape,” added Coach  T.J. Davis.  

Facing their only competition of the week, the men’s swim team defeated Colby Sawyer and New Jersey Institute of Technology in an exhibition meet, winning every event. Fields praised Tripp Miller ’18 as well as Swartz for their performances as they each posted impressive times in their respective events. 

Swartz also emphasized the bonding aspect of the trip.  “Every day is pretty hard, you’re always sore, but its always fun…the team always comes together and we get to know each other a lot better.”

This past Saturday, the men lost a narrow battle to RIT 146-152.  However, this Saturday the Continentals take on rival Union College in their senior meet, the final home competition of the season. Although this is a challenging meet, Fields expressed optomism saying, “We really think we have a shot.”

Currently undefeated in NESCAC meets, the men’s swim team looks forward to their final opportunity in the NESCAC  championship to cap off their season.  After dropping a full two seconds off his 200 backstroke time in the invitational, Swartz intends to spearhead the team through the meet and perhaps even qualify for nationals. 

Joining the men in Florida for long 5:30 a.m. walks to the pool and exhausting workouts, the women’s swim team sought to gain a leg up on their competition.  Coming off of strong early season performances by Hannah Mooney ’17, Lauren Klei ’18 and captain McKenna Kelly ’15, the team went into their training trip ready to work. 

Despite the grueling long yardage workouts, “Training trip was a turnaround for us,” said captain Sarah Izzo ’15, “The team did a great job of motivating each other.”  Despite a loss against Wesleyan early on during break, the women’s swim team dominated their exhibition meet in Florida and then defeated RIT 170-129.

Izzo believes the team’s recent success is largely due to the emotional benefits from training as a team in Florida.  “We come out of training camp in amazing shape, and also as a family.  You suffer so much together, if you can come out alive together, that’s a huge accomplishment.”  Coach Davis echoed Izzo’s words as he stated that, “The team came together…it was a great opportunity for them to gel.”

With the NESCAC’s bringing national level competition from powerhouses Williams and Amherst, the women’s swim team believes they can still have a successful experience.  “If everyone swims well, we can leave happy,” said Izzo.

More immediately, the team looks forward to rival Union.  “We’ll look for our personal best, and we’re optimistic,” said Coach Davis.  The teams face off at 2p.m. on Saturday at the Bristol Pool.

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