Men and women’s swim teams make history in last meet in Cy Twombly

The last meet at Cy Twombly celebrated all of the accomplishments the team has made, as well as the legacy the seniors will leave behind

Elly Cosgrove

With a substantial W&L win over Catholic in the pool, the meet on Saturday, Jan. 14 marked the historic end to Washington and Lee’s Cy Twombly pool.

Both the men’s and women’s team took to the water to take on Catholic University which resulted in a 168-88 win for the women and a 172-84 win for the men.

The meet on Jan. 14 was not primarily about the wins and losses, but instead about the historical significance of the contest as a whole. The swim team’s meet against Catholic was the last meet to ever be held in the Cy Twombly pool.

The first contest held in the Cy Twombly pool took place in 1972 for the NCAA Men’s College Division Swimming and Diving Championships, according to Since then, history has been made and pool records have been broken time and time again.

Many current swim team members commented on how they felt connected, as well as a part of, Twombly’s history.

“Part of the reason it was more significant to finish our time in Cy Twombly was because of the history of the place,” said Noah Schammel, ‘18.

The pool’s namesake, Cy Twombly, became head coach of the W&L men’s swim team in 1921. According to Schammel, Twombly

brought the team from not winning a single meet in their first seven seasons to having a 9-0 record in his last year as coach.

On the Washington and Lee athletic website, there is a history tab dedicated specifically for both the men’s and women’s team.

The historic meet Saturday also corresponded with the swim team’s senior meet. The teams celebrated their seniors and all of the hard work they have put in over the past four years.

Captain Emily Rollo, ’17, was sentimental about their senior meet occurring during the last contest to ever be held in the Cy Twombly pool.

“It felt like my class was a part of the history in the W&L program,” said Rollo.

Due to the fact the new natatorium will not be ready until next year, this year’s senior class will never practice or compete in the new swim facility. Rollo says she and many of the other seniors will “miss the home feeling” that Twombly provided them throughout their four years at Washington and Lee. Even though Twombly has such a richhistory, the men’s and women’s swim teams are looking forward to the new natatorium.

One major benefit of the new pool is that there are more lanes to be utilized during practice and meets, according to Schammel. Twombly only had six training lanes while the new pool will have 14 or more.

“Currently, in Cy Twombly we do not have room for warm-up and cool-down lanes, but in the new pool we will have plenty of extra lanes for that,” Ali MacQueen, ’20, said.

Not only will these extra lanes be a game changer for training, they will also allow for better in-season meets as well.

Although Cy Twombly will be missed by both current swimmers and alumni, the teams have much to look forward to in the brand new facilities that will be catered specifically for their purposes.