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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Team chemistry defines swimming success


Membership has been an issue for Guilford’s swim team this season. At the start of the year, the team had 14 committed swimmers. Presently, the team has only 11 swimmers on the active roster going into the ODAC Tournament. 

This did not faze the team at all. They are a determined group of athletes with the desire to compete. 

“Our strengths come from how much we support and encourage each other,” said senior and co-captain Daphne Murphy.

After the first round of the tournament, the Quakers found themselves in eighth place with 44 total points. However, the score didn’t tell the whole story. For the swimmers, it was about teamwork. 

“I would be nowhere without the team,” said Murphy. “Every swim, I can see them from the sidelines or hear them yelling and it makes me work harder knowing that they are there to back me up.” 

For the swim team, success is viewed differently than just wins and losses. 

“We just go out and try to do our best each meet,” said senior and co-captain Sara Waitsman. 

The team isn’t concerned with winning, but with the improvement and development of its swimmers throughout the season. 

The Quakers did exactly what Waitsman said: drastically improved their times in the tournament. 

On the second day of action, Murphy crushed her best mile time by 28 seconds and beat her 500-yard time by seven seconds, which is very significant for swimmers. Waitsman also placed 14th in the 100-yard with a time of 1:19:28, a personal best. 

Other Quakers had career performances as well. Senior Kim Abbott and first-year Becca Dozier broke their best times in their individual events and attained best times of the season. The top point-getting performances were from the 200-yard relay team and the 800-yard freestyle relay team. They both finished in seventh place. 

“This is what we train for, improving our individual races and dropping time,” said Murphy. 

This theme is echoed by head coach Steve Kaczmarek. He has stated that performing well in meets is not about accumulating points or getting first place, it’s about the team enjoying swimming. 

Waitsman believes that for herself and her teammates, pride and improvement go hand in hand with swimming. “You may not be able to tell based on the points we earned at each meet but, if you look at people’s individual times, everyone has improved.” 

For the Quakers, swimming in meets is non-stop cheering, screaming, and swimming. Every single race, every single team member pulls for their teammates to win the race. Team chemistry pulls the swimmers together through races.

“I think one of our biggest strengths is that we’re all pretty close and that helps during meets because we all support each other in our races,” said Abbott. 

At the close of the ODAC tournament, Guilford’s swim team stood in eighth place with 129 points. For casual fans, this result would look disappointing, but the women’s swim team does not associate success with getting points and winning races. 

There was no questioning their determination. They came to win. When asked what would be a successful outing for the team, Murphy responded, “If we all dropped our time and left the pool knowing we gave it our all.”

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