The Elizabethtown College swim team has its first home meet on Saturday, Nov. 5 against Arcadia University. The team is excited with the prospect of racing against them again, as the level of competition may be higher than in past years.
“Last year, we beat them by a lot. This year, we’re hearing rumors that they have quite a few good swimmers. Should be interesting,” senior Erin Murowany said. With this in mind, The Blue Jays still plan to start off the season on a good note.
With a large number of first-years, the team is quickly shaping up in hopes that this will be one of their best seasons yet. The new swimmers are seen as good assets to the team, according to the upperclassmen. Murowany thinks that the team as a whole will improve a lot from last year. She continued, “I think the season will go well; we may not win every meet but individually we should all have good times. Not everyone will make it to the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship (MAC), but everyone will have a good time.”
The first-years are joined by new head coach Mark Wilson, who was the team’s assistant coach last year. New assistant coach Ryan Eppler hails from Misericorida University. This was a big change for the upperclassmen on the team, especially since no one was aware of who the new coach would be until school resumed in August. However, the team is excited to see what will happen under the new direction of Wilson. Practices seem harder this year than in the previous years, according to Murowany, but it means the coach is working everyone hard in preparation for a good season ahead.
The team has practices twice a day, but each member of the team can choose which practice to attend based on their own personal schedules and class times that day. Some of the swimmers attend both practices, but it is important to attend at least one, as swimming is a sport that is best practiced every day.
First-year Frank Capria said swimming keeps him active and provides him with time management skills, forcing him to plan out his day in accordance to what practice he attends and how much homework he has. He is most looking forward to the MAC Championship this season because the team will get to show off all of their hard work from the season. Doing well in the conference is the ultimate goal for Capria and other members of the team.
Fellow first-year Rebecca Patten commented, “The team is very welcoming; and you are part of them from day one. You get very close with the other people in your lane.” This is apparent, as the team tries to have dinner together every night after practice, as well as pasta parties before various meets.
Patten is enjoying the change from high school swimming to a collegiate atmosphere. “The dynamic changes because everyone brings something different to the team,” she said. Capria added that he enjoys swimming for a college team because a “Division III college is much harder than a Division I high school.” Both Capria and Patten are excited for the start of the official season so they can see the intensity of racing at the college level.
The Jays are looking forward to racing in a tri-meet against Lycoming College and Messiah College. Etown tied with Lycoming last year, and the team is hoping to come home this time with a win. The tri-meet is currently scheduled for Nov. 12 at Lycoming.