Swimming in the deep end of Ohio

After a down year last season which involved issues with club management, SGA budget, and overall existence, the UVM club co-ed swim team was able to make a splash last weekend when they attended nationals at Miami University (Ohio).

Unfortunately, the club placed twentieth out of 24 schools, but club president and senior Zack Ahrens is optimistic about the future. 

“We have some good young swimmers who competed well this year, and we positioned ourselves to be more competitive next year,” Ahrens said.

Senior Rebecca Handel, vice president of the club, echoed Ahrens’ sentiments.

“This year was a roller coaster ride, we had our ups and downs but we finished strong and set the tone for next year,” Handel said.

Coming into this year the club swim team had $23 left over from its SGA budget from two years ago.  Last year, the club did not compete in a single meet.

When it was time for the club to host their first home meet this year, the boiler in the gym exploded pushing the club to frantically alter its plans and reschedule to hold the meet at Saint Michael’s College.

But with an infusion of renewed energy into the club, Ahrens and Handel were able to showcase their young talent in home victories over Northeastern and Yale and had 16 swimmers compete at nationals.

“The other teams at nationals compete and train at the varsity level, and we want to compete at that level, but our job is to make it fun,” Handel said.  “If we trained every day like they do, I don’t think that many people would want to swim for us.”

Handel and Ahrens aren’t planning on abandoning the club team, however, and are hoping to return as coaches next year.

“We competed well at nationals, having a lot of swimmers get personal bests in times.

We’re a young growing team,” Handel said on the direction the club is heading, noting that they made great progress this year.