Open swim is back and better than ever
Matt Gad – Contributor
The open swim on Mondays and Tuesdays this year is a trial run, said Andrew Marullo, to gage whether students have an interest.
Marullo, assistant director of student involvement and leadership development for campus recreation said they reserved 8:30-10:30 p.m. two days a week for the program, in Moore Field House.
“This is really the first full year campus recreation has been overseeing open swim,” he said. “We’re seeing the type of numbers we get from people who want to swim. If the numbers are there consistently we may expand to some more hours.”
Years ago, when open swim was overseen by the athletic department, it was housed in the swimming pool at Pelz Gymnasium, said Marullo. The pool was shut down however, he said, due to financial reasons.
Last year, under his office, open swim was relaunched and began to be held at the same pool that is used for the Owls’ swimming and diving program.
Lifeguard Meaghan Spagnolo, a senior, athletic training major and student athlete, started as the open swim lifeguard her freshman year when it was at Pelz and she returned to her duties last year after open swim was brought back.
She said some people come in and swim laps and others just come in to hangout with their friends. Spagnolo said open swim is “a good place for people to hangout that’s different from the gym” and that there is usually a good turnout.
“The campus recreation department really advertises a lot,” said Spagnolo. “A lot of people know about it, and most nights we have like 20 people. It seems like people have fun when they come.”
Spagnolo said the swimming pool is “a lot deeper” than most pools and thinks it is a good idea to have her as a lifeguard since she knows the “ins and outs.”
“The shallowest part is like five feet which is above most people’s mouths,” said Spagnolo. “Normal pools are like three feet deep [there] so people who can’t swim can at least stand in the shallow end.”
Cole Kinyon, a sophomore, physics major, said he swam on his high school team and attends open swim every week.
“It’s become a discipline of mine,” he said. “Some- times I have a few friends who come to this and it’s nice. I like the leniency of open swim where you can come when you want.”
Marullo said he was approached by a group of students last year who were interested in bringing back some type of open swim or having an intramural swimming program. He said campus recreation was “looking into it” already and there was a student who was “very interested” who was also able to get more student support.
“There’s been students attending every session,” Marullo said. “It just ranges.”
In addition to Spagnolo, campus recreation hires a student worker to manage check-in and keep track of the numbers of students in attendance at each session.“We have the facilities, so we want to be able to keep them open for student use beyond what athletics is using them for,” Marullo said.
Under campus recreation, during the allotted recreational times each week, students can also participate in intramural sports or the open sessions inside Moore Field House for basketball or weight- lifting.
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana