In Goucher’s Eline von Borries Aquatic Center, the individual success of the men’s swim team is displayed on an enormous white record board, loaded with the best times from the best swimmers on their best days. These records, with events rang- ing from a 50 yard sprint to a torturous mile swim, are almost entirely held by current Goucher students. In speaking with several members of the swim team, it was apparent that their ambition for success was complimented, if not motivated, by the team’s altruism.
For every event, members of the team crowd around the edges of the pool, cheering on their teammates, boosting signs saying, “Friends don’t quit.” Morgan Richter ’16 commented on the team cohesion in a sport focused on the individual, “When you’re at the meet, some- times, it feels very individual, but the reason you got there is because of people pushing you in practice.” Richter continued, commenting that much of the team’s success is high- lighted by their desire for success, their compassion, and their encouragement, regardless of how individualistic the races might seem.
Captain Sam Davis ’15 knows that success does not happen overnight. He mentioned that Coach Tom Till holds practice every opportunity he can, whether it’s a workout in the gym, multiple practices a day, running on the track, or even practice on the weekends. “I know how hard other college athletes work…but some of the best athletes in the world are college swimmers… the amount of time [we] put in is ridiculous.”
The team is looking big- ger, stronger, and faster than ever before. Davis, al- though praising his team, has high expectations. “We’re not sitting there, saying we want medals, we want first, we want conference championships, NCAA qualifications, we want a lot of big things this year.” He continued, im- ploring his team to break all nineteen records this year. “It’s within reach for the first time in history.”
The team’s inspiration hasn’t always been driven by extrinsic motivation. At one point the swim team only had three members, one of them being recent alumni, Brendan “Bo” Mc- Fadden ‘13. They were dubbed the “Ironmen,” and these three dedicated swimmers would compete in every event, simply to avoid forfeiting the meet.
“This is the best swim team… We weren’t always like this,” he said, watch- ing as the men’s team beat the University of Scranton for the first time in school history.
The men’s team is now 5-1 with their most recent 104-101 victory over their rival Scranton. They look to continue their excel- lent run of form scoring an average of 123 points per meet while only conceding an average of 77 points per meet. The team will swim against Catholic in their second to last home meet on Saturday, November 22 at 1:00pm.