Chief Copy Editor
The beginning of February marks the end of a five-month season for the Goucher College Swim Team.
Swimming has the longest season on campus, beginning in late September and ending this weekend. The team trains hard through all of the major college breaks, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The most beneficial and difficult part of the season begins on Jan. 3, when the team arrives in sunny Puerto Rico for an intensive ten days of training. The team trains twice a day for two hours each in various outdoor pools in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The trip serves two major purposes: to prepare the team to mentally and physically handle the conference championships (held this weekend at Marywood University), and to bond with one another. The training is difficult and every second not spent in the pool is used for recovery – eating, sleeping, and soaking up the sun – preparing for the next practice.
After ten grueling days, the team returned home for a meet against Drew University and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. This meet is yet another test of mental and physical strength as the team’s bodies are worn down from the extra yardage and then have to compete against two conference opponents. While the women fell to both Drew and Merchant Marine, there were still a few notable swims. Junior Nicole Craver placed first in the 400 IM and 100 free, and senior Cat Gepner placed third in the 500 free. The men defeated Drew 52-36 and came up short against Merchant Marine 51-37. Like the lady Gophers, the team did have some standout swims, including Colin Richter’s second place 500 free finish, and third place in both the 400 IM and the 1000 free. The sophomore competed in all nine events, although only three of them counted, to become what is known as an “Ironman” on the team. His twin brother, Morgan Richter, placed first in the 100 butterfly and Sam Davis placed first in the 100 free. Richter and Davis also placed second in the 400 IM and 200 free, respectively. Finally, Cody Nelson, a sophomore, placed second in the 100 breaststroke. The meet put them in a good position to show off their hard work at conferences this weekend.
The Gophers are known within the conference for their impressive taper. While other teams might taper for individual meets, Goucher puts the most emphasis on the three weeks before the end of season as a time for rest, which allows their bodies to fully recover so they are ready to swim fast when it counts. Senior co-captain Cat Gepner said of the team, “I’m really excited to see our training pay off. We worked hard all season and this is the meet where it really shows.”
At press time, the Goucher men’s and women’s swim teams are swimming their hearts out at Marywood University where they will hopefully do some damage against their conference opponents. Records will fall, medals will be won, and the Gophers will hopefully come back feeling proud of the hard work they put in this season. Good luck swimmers!