Chief Copy Editor
Anyone who has been a competitive swimmer in their lifetime knows it can be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sports out there. The Landmark Conference Championships are where the Goucher College Swim Team shows how hard they worked throughout the last five months. They leave everything behind in the pool. This year was no exception.
There were many notable swims during Conferences. Almost every single member of the team swam at least one personal best time. Over the course of the three-day weekend, there were two Conference Champion swims, one runner-up, a third place finisher, nine school records, and countless lifetime best swims. However, the stats weren’t the most important part to Graduate Assistant Kelly Heyde. When asked her thoughts on the weekend, she said, “What strikes me, more than what the Gophers accomplished in the pool, is what they achieved on the pool deck.”
While the team may not have the numbers that other teams have, they have arguably one of the biggest presences in the Landmark Conference. Their support for each other is “unparalleled by other teams,” according to Heyde. There is always someone, usually multiple people, at the end of a lane, cheering, hugging, and even crying tears of joy for their teammates. The swimmers also used each other’s successes to motivate themselves to swim their own best times. Junior Sam Davis, who placed third in the 50-yard freestyle and broke a school record that hasn’t been touched in over two decades, said he gained confidence from watching his teammates swim well.
Davis attributed much of the weekend’s success to head coach Tom Till and Heyde. They trained hard and pushed the Gophers further than they thought they could go.
Sophomore Morgan Richter said of the weekend, “For five months we worked as hard as we could, pushing our bodies to our limits, and it all paid off at conferences.”
Heyde and Davis also recognized the seniors for their hard work. Dean Silverman, Patrick McNeel, Cat Gepner, Tierney Doran, and Patrice D’Orazio served as role models for the rest of the team by swimming with “grace and passion,” Heyde said. The captains, Silverman, McNeel, Gepner, and D’Orazio, kept the team close all season, which Davis said helped unify the team for the most important weekend of the season.
While there were many standout swims, Heyde wanted to recognize Nicole Craver (2nd in the 400 IM), Sam Davis (3rd in the 50 free), and Morgan Richter (1st in the 100 and 200 butterfly). Also worth mentioning are Lizzy Hannifin ‘17, who pushed through two injuries this season yet still swam best times in her events, Ben Shriner ‘17, who dropped almost a minute in his mile, and Colin Richter ‘16, who broke both the 100 and 200 backstroke records.
Every single swimmer on the team had a swim worth noting. They all worked hard for the end goal this season, and while the numbers didn’t play out as well as they had hoped (the women placed 8th and the men placed 6th), it gives them something to work for in the coming years.
Davis said the team was already getting back in the pool and the weight room just days after the championships. Their goals are set even higher, with more individual conference championships in sight, and more records to shatter. So if you see any members of the Goucher College Swim Team while you’re walking to classes (or maybe you’re in classes with some of them), make sure to congratulate them on their season, because they worked hard for the times they posted and gave it everything they had, leaving it all in the pool at the end of the weekend.