Swim team dives into season with early victories

The men’s and women’s swim teams have each won their first two meets and, even though it is early, they have their eyes set on postseason glory

Elly Cosgrove

After sending six swimmers to the NCAA championship meet last year, the Washington and Lee men’s and women’s swimming teams are looking forward to another successful season.

The men’s swimming team started its season off strong with a first- place finish at the Derby City Invitational at the University of Lou- isville on Oct. 8. The men’s team also captured a 162-96 win over conference rival Randolph-Macon on October 21.

Through the same two meets, the women’s team has mirrored the men’s results. It also placed first at the Derby City Invitational with a total of 686 points and defeated Randolph-Macon 167-89.

Evenwiththepromisingstart,though,defendingnationalchampi- on Tommy Thetford, ’18, looks forward to the team improving over the course of the season. Thetford won national championships in the 100 and 200 freestyle sprints, but was the runner up in the 50 meter rendition.

“It’s different this year, people are really taking their swimming seriously and really want to see themselves get better,” Thetford said in an interview with generalssports.com.

Elisabeth Holmes, ’17, echoed that sentiment, saying that that she

believes this year’s team is composed of a very talented group of swimmers.

Both teams have a large freshman class this season which has brought a new element to the Washington and Lee swim team. Thet- ford told generalssports. com that the freshmen have entered the season in great shape. Holmes commented on how the freshman have “been great for the energy on the pool deck.”

“Our freshman class is deep and it’s huge and it’s exciting and we are really looking forward to them to jump in with both feet,” said Head Coach Kami Gardner in an interview with gener- alssports.com.

Not only have the fresh- man brought something special to the team this year, but Coach Gardner also feels that the leadership shown by returning swimmers has been “outstanding.” In an email, Coach Gardner mentioned how the team has helped the freshman swimmers “navigate the first semester of college success- fully.”

The men’s and women’s teams also hope to send even more swim- mers to the NCAAs this season. Last year, the team sent two individ- uals and one women’s relay team to the national championship meet.

“I’m expecting to see the women’s team perform at an even higher level than last year, and send more people to nationals,” said Holmes.

Thetford said that sending more swimmers to the NCAAs is a large goal and expectation for this season. However, Coach Gardner says that although the overall goals are to win ODACs and compete on a national level, the team always focuses on what it is doing in the present the most, taking it one meet at a time.

Both swim teams are off for two weeks and will take the pool again on Nov. 12 at Carnegie Mellon.