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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 Swim and Dive Make a Splash Over Winter Break

Colgate Athletics / Brian Miller

It has been a busy couple of weeks for the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams with training and different meets taking them across the country. In addition to several significant meets filling their calendars, members of both teams spent their winter break at home here in Hamilton, N.Y. and on an intensive training trip to San Diego, Calif. 

To kick off their winter holiday, the teams competed against Hamilton College on Dec. 8. The matchup was a charity meet in support of Morgan’s Message, an organization that aims to eliminate the stigma surrounding the mental health of student-athletes, according to their website. Both teams took home victories, with the men’s team beating Hamilton 131-96 and the women’s team securing a 131-106 win over Hamilton as well.

Senior butterfly and freestyle swimmer Alexandra Mehos spoke about the challenge of training and competing simultaneously.

“We were away and a lot of people put up some great swims. We were in the bulk of our training season during that meet so we were tired, but we were still able to put some good times up,” Mehos said.

Later in the season, the teams faced Holy Cross on Jan. 17. Despite some strong performances, the men’s team was ultimately bested, 179-115. Junior distance freestyle swimmer Ryan Blumenfeld commented on the hard fought meet.

“It didn’t quite go as well as we would have expected, but I feel like the team fought really hard. Holy Cross is always our biggest opponent and every year we go into the meet trying to win. We didn’t this year, but I feel like the guys on the men’s team fought hard and did what we could,” Blumenfeld said. 

That same day, however, the women’s team was able to defeat Holy Cross, 176-122. Junior distance freestyle swimmer Dana Witte recalled the momentous victory.

“It was a milestone moment for us as a women’s team,” Witte said. 

Senior freestyle and backstroke swimmer Brooke Garretson agreed. 

“We thought we could beat them last year and we lost, which was really disappointing, so we were all really motivated to win this year, and we all swam really well,” Garretson said. 

Most recently, the teams celebrated their seniors on Jan. 20 at their meet against Boston University with friends and family in attendance. The meet was a special one for both squads, with many of their beloved teammates racing for the last time at home. 

“It was cool to see them on their journey through swimming and see them swim in their last dual meet,” Blumenfeld said.

“It was really, really special [and] a little bit sad, but bittersweet is a good way to put it,” said Witte. 

Throughout the season, the men’s and women’s teams have fostered a tight-knit culture that has led to their success. It’s their ability to come together outside of the pool that has made the season such a success. It’s definitely a squad the team will not forget for a long time.

“Throughout my four years, this has been the most high-energy season. It’s the best I’ve ever seen the team look,” Mehos said.

“We keep each other accountable and motivated. […] Thats a characteristic of a team that’s starting to get better — we all work harder,” Witte said. 

Blumenfeld and Witte attributed some of the growth in team culture to the underclassmen.

“We only have two seniors [on the men’s team] and around 75% of our team is underclassmen. They brought a lot of energy,” Blumenfeld said. 

 “Our first-years are super fast, [which] gets everyone else excited. We’re all really into it, which is really cool,” Witte said. 

Every year, turnover is a reality that collegiate teams have to face and momentum from season to season can be hard to come by. However, this year’s class of first-years has clearly only helped grow the team culture.

“Each year, when the first-years come in, it’s a new source of energy and they keep bringing it, so it’s been a really great four years to see the team grow,” Garretson said.   

Looking forward, there are two more meets remaining for the teams: The Boston University Invitational on Feb. 9 and 10 and the Patriot League Championships on Feb. 21 and 22. Witte and Mehos look forward to the final matchups.

 “I think our work is going to pay off. We’ve already done the training, now it’s just time to work on the details,” Witte said. 

 “I’m really excited for our championship meet because we get to rest [beforehand] and hopefully we’ll all put up some best times. It will be fun to see our hard work pay off in the last meet of the season,” Mehos said.

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