Senior Swim Day
Morgan Douglas– Sports Editor
The sight of shimmering water. The smell of chlorine. The sounds of splashing. Such sensory thoughts never stray too far from the mind of a swimmer.
For several swimmers at the university, their time in the pool is winding down, after the swimming and diving team celebrated senior day with a meet against the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils this past Friday at home in the Bruce Hutchinson natatorium.
“It’s definitely great to get to see them be appreciated,” swimmer Maddie Dean, a junior, said, “They’ve all done this for four years and it’s incredibly hard. I know they’re going to swim here in Conference, and they all know that too, so that might have taken away a little bit, but I liked all the energy today, considering there were no people in the stands.”
With the NE-10 Conference Championships set to begin of Feb. 17, this meet against Division 1 opponent Central was a good chance for the team to work out any remaining kinks, while seeing how they stack up against D1 level competition.
“Nothing has been easy, so I would say that on a team front they have handled, overcome and adapted to anything that’s been thrown at them,” Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coach Tim Quill said “And that’s why we feel so positive and excited for what this program can do in two and a half weeks because if they can handle what they’ve already done, then this should be a breeze, the conference meet.”
Even though there were no fans in the stands due to the COVID-19 spectator policy, the Owls brought the noise and kept the energy level high from the start of the meet through the finish.
Although the results did not go in the Owls favor, which is gone into greater detail in the next story, there are always takeaways to be had from meets like this one.
“I think we did really well,” Dean said. “People might not have been in their best events, but now’s the time to figure out what events we’re going to swim in two and a half weeks, so I think that was the biggest part of figuring out how we’re going to win.”
When the meet was over, the team played a video made by the underclassmen, showing their support and appreciation for the six seniors moving on.
“I came in my sophomore year, I was a transfer, and these guys took me right in, made me feel like I was at home,” swimmer Chandler Tucker, a senior, said, “So, with Tyler (Cusano) and Evan (Bombery) leaving, It’s sad. Been training with them the last three years now. It’s sad that I won’t have them next year.”
The camaraderie between the men’s and women’s swimming and diving team was evident as they would all come together to cheer on their teammates and share in the duties of setting the pool up for different events.
They will look to take full advantage of their teamwork and reliability in one another when they compete in the NE10 conference championships, but this day was about the seniors.
“The job of the upperclassmen is we just want to tell the underclassmen what the culture is here, and our goal is to get them to buy into the culture, and I think they did a good job about that this year,” Tucker said.