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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Swims and Dives Into 2023-24 Season

Colgate Swims and Dives Into 2023-24 Season
Olivia Hokanson / Colgate Athletics

Colgate University Swim and Dive kicked off their season, hosting La Moyne College, University of Massachusetts and St. Francis University on Oct. 6. The women’s team placed second out of four, coming up only 34 points short of swim powerhouse UMass, and the men’s team placed second out of three. The team looks forward to their season ahead, having improved greatly from last year’s meet against UMass. 

After nearly doubling the size of the team since 2020-2021, the COVID-19-affected season, senior captain Emma Hatlem emphasized that the team has really come together well.

“It has been really exciting to watch [the team] grow not only in numbers but in culture as well,” Hatlem said.

Senior Sophia Yee furthered that point, adding that the team has connected on a new and higher level than ever before.

“We’ve really been able to connect with the first-years and underclassmen as a whole and bring them into that sense of team camaraderie that we kind of missed when we were underclassmen because of COVID-19,” Yee said. 

The two believe that the closeness of the team is one of the group’s biggest strengths. Hatlem commented on the overwhelming support from teammates at their opening meet.

“[There was] a good environment. Everyone was cheering and we all were super excited to show the first-years how the meets go and how to improve from last year,” Hatlem said.

Having shortened last year’s 200-point gap between Colgate and UMass to nearly 30 points this past weekend, the team has a lot of potential this year.

Junior Ryan Blumenfeld also recognized the great team spirit.

“We just have such a great culture, and we love to have fun, which is awesome,” Blumenfeld said.

Additionally, he shouted out senior captain Neil Nejame as a big leader on the team, and, like Yee and Hatlem, turned the spotlight to the newest members of the squad.

“The team’s strength is in its youth, because they have a lot of energy and potential,” Blumenfeld said.

Owen McCabe, a first-year diver who took first place in the one-meter dive on Oct. 6, is a great example of some of the talent and positive energy that has joined the program. McCabe feels confident in the team’s ability to win and be successful this season.

“The team had some incredible races and dives that propelled us past Le Moyne and St. Francis while significantly reducing the margin between us and UMass from last year,” McCabe said. “This team has talent and camaraderie that will make this season one to look forward to – all the guys are optimistic. With great leadership from captains [senior] Neil Nejame, [junior] Morgan Cecil and [sophomore] Matt Freund, the team works very hard to push each other and avoid complacency.”

Blumenfeld agreed that the team is expected to go far this season.

“We’re excited for where the team is headed. [We] have been getting better every year, and it has been really fun to see,” Blumenfeld said.

With meets every weekend starting Oct. 20, the first-years are set to make a big splash, with McCabe alongside MG King, Meg Erickson, Lucy Art, Ellie Sundin, Fabiana Codella and Jack Schurtz-Ford all placing in the top three in their events in the season opener.

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