Swim team building momentum through fall


photo via guilfordquakers.com

Carolyn O’Halloran competes in a butterfly event

Guilford College’s swim team has recently started its season, already having finished two meets. The team recently finished its invitational event at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, where it placed second out of eight teams that were there.

As for the other meet, the swim team went to an Old Dominion Athletic Conference relay that happens every year. There were 13 colleges, although typically there would be 12 at this ODAC race. Guilford placed seventh out of 13 teams. Washington and Lee hosted this event.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll have a winning duel meet this season,” said coach Brad Herndon. Herndon has been coaching at Guilford for two years now, and has also coached in the Greensboro area for about 30 years.

Herndon explained how the team doesn’t have a lot of members and hasn’t had a winning season for a while, according to Guilford College records. However, he also mentioned that with its returners and promising first-years, the swim team has a good chance this season.

Herndon expressed that a struggle the team will have to overcome is the fact that Lynchburg has joined the ODAC for swimming. There are now 13 teams in the conference. This will only increase competition and force the team as a whole to be better than before to catch up to the speed of competitors.

“Our goal for our swimmers is to be better than when they started,” Herndon said. “If they work in the pool and start getting better than they were, we’ll be set. We have a lot of good swimmers this year.

“In the ODAC ranking, we were picked 13th out of 13, but we are definitely not going to be there,” Herdon said. “We are going to be top 10 for sure.”

“We have a lot of potential to be better this season than last season, and everyone on the team’s got a GPA of 3.0 or higher,” Herndon continued. “We have flexible practices and we really emphasize the importance of being a student athlete.”

Guilford College’s swimmers confirmed Coach Herndon’s remarks that this year they’re putting in a lot of work, a lot of practices and that they started pretty well for their first two meets.

The swim team has a collective family mindset. They’re all very friendly and get along with one another. The struggles that a couple of swimmers expressed included getting team members with varied swimming experience up to speed and caught up, as well as finding ways to balance course work with practice and training.

The ultimate goal is eventually an ODAC championship and to get better and show improvement from last year.

“These two meets have been really good,” said first-year Megan Cessna.

“The first meet was a quick one and helped us get the season off to a good start. The second one was a good view of the team as a whole. Practices are pretty flexible, which helps with the workload of classes,” she said. Cessna has ten years of swimming experience and has shown great potential so far.

Rebecca Shenhouse, a sophomore with eight years of swimming experience, is a promising returner and is sure to help this season.

“Brad (Herndon) is great. He helps us individually and overall I’ve gotten a lot better from where I once started,” Shenhouse said.

“I have high hopes for this year. Overall, we’re going to do a lot better, and we’ve got a lot of new people to help.”

The swim team’s next meet is Nov. 2 in Ferrum, Virginia, against Bridgewater College.


Editor’s note: This story originally was published in Volume 106, Issue 4 of The Guilfordian on Nov. 1 2019.