By Connor Powell ‘20
“Is swimming even that hard, I swim all the time during the summer!?” A question almost every athletic swimmer has to deal with. Swimming is actually one of the most difficult sports someone can play.
Merrimack College’s Swim and Div team is full of young and athletic swimmers and have the opportunity to have a successful season if they grow in the right ways.
A very important part of any team is a good mix of youth and age. This year’s Warriors fits this description perfectly. Leading the way for this years squad are six upperclassmen. They set the precedent for how to be a successful collegiate swim team for the younger swimmers.
If Merrimack is going to have a successful season they’re going to need a lot out of the 16 underclassmen to go along with their upperclassmen.
“The freshmen are adjusting very well to collegiate swimming. A lot of them are coming from programs much like our own so they knew what to expect coming into the season. I am looking forward to seeing how well they do throughout the season.” said Captain Ireland Wilson when asked about the Freshman adjusting to the collegiate level.
Leading the way last year and into this year is current juniors, Samantha Towle and Andrea Taylor. Towle set school records in the NE-10 Championships last season in the 100 and 200 Freestyle with times of 54.48 seconds and 1:50.73 seconds. Taylor also had success last season and broke school records in the NE-10 championships. She set records in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events with times of 1.00.04 seconds and 2.10.04 seconds.
Last season was one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history. Five Warriors qualified for the NE-10 Championships and ten school records were set.
After a hugely successful season, it can be a daunting thing to come back the next season and meet the expectations of the past. This is especially true when you have such a young team.
“We make sure everyone cheers for each other during practice and at meets. Most days our practices are tough so just cheering each other on makes us know that we can get through the set.” said Wilson when asked about preparing for meets.
Overall, regardless of the teams projected growth, there is no doubt that the warriors and their fans have a lot to look forward to this coming season and seasons to come. With only two swimmers graduating, they have a terrific opportunity to stay atop the NE-10 for years to come