Being a Colgate swimmer for four years is a true test of character: it requires stamina, focus, strength, very early mornings and extreme dedication. Senior Amy Cole, co-captain of Colgate women’s swimming and diving squad, is one swimmer who successfully accomplished this feat. Speaking about her four years as a Colgate swimmer, Cole had much to reflect on. She seemed satisfied with her career and prepared to move on, yet not without some bittersweet sentiments about leaving a squad that has been such a major part of her time here.
It is not simply leaving behind a four-year career at Colgate, but this spring marks the closing of a chapter that began 16 years ago when she first became involved in the sport.
“I started swimming when I was five,” Cole said. “My mom signed my siblings up for swim lessons and I wanted to swim too because they were all older and I wanted to do everything that they did.”
Cole stuck with the sport through high school, competing for both her high school team and a private squad in the off-season.
“It was just as intense as college swimming except there weren’t as many meets,” she said. “In high school, we had a meet once intwo months, as opposed to every weekend. Of course, there’s more schoolwork at the college level, too.”
This, Cole claims, has been one of the most challenging aspects for her as a college swimmer. “It’s hard to have so many weekends taken up with the amount of work that needs to get done,” she said,
The balancing act has paid off for the free-style specialist.
“This year’s PLCs were pretty exciting, when the captains received the runner-up trophy,” Cole said. “We did better than we had ever done before.”
The neuroscience and Classical studies double major has much to boast of: she can be found in the Colgate history books in the 800m free relay, as well as the 500m free, 1,000m free, 1,650m free and 400m individual medley.
Outside of the pool, Cole found time to work in the Admissions Office as a campus tour guide and contributed to the Hamilton community through Outreach when she first arrived on campus. Now, in preparing to leave campus, she is looking to either teach or find a research position before applying to graduate school.
One thing Cole looks forward to saying goodbye to are the early morning practices. “Waking up at 5 a.m. three times a week for so many years was hard,” she said.
However, even those early mornings in the pool seem worth it in the end.
“I will miss everything,” Cole said. “I will really miss hanging out with the team, the parties, the feeling after a really hard practice of having pushed myself to the limit, the good and bad meets – everything.”
The co-captain, who claims that it was her genuine love of the sport that has kept her going over all these years, is still not quite ready to quit. “I’d really like to keep swimming and compete in triathlons after graduation,” she said.
Perhaps graduation will not completely close a chapter of Cole’s life after all.