Last weekend, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the Colorado College Classic. The invitational brought together eight teams for three days of competition in Schlessman Pool. The men’s team placed third with 489 points. Wayland Baptist University took second with 526, and the University of Colorado claimed first with 606.
The women’s team pulled off a victory in the final event of the meet, which resulted in Colorado College narrowly beating Adams State University for first place, with scores of 652.5 and 640.5 respectively. Sophomore Olivia Dilorati competed in this crucial final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay along with sophomore Becca Adams, freshman Zoe Pierrat, and senior Brenna Day. They beat Adams State University by a mere three-tenths of a second.
“It was the last event of the Classic and we were all so tired after a long weekend,” Dilorati explains. “Despite this, everyone stepped up and swam their best. We also were only two seconds off the Colorado College 200-free relay record, so that was encouraging to see how close we were despite being exhausted and broken down from the hard training we just finished. Hopefully, in a month, we will all be able to swim a little faster and break that record”.
Both the men and women performed well in relays during the Classic. The men placed third in the 200-medley relay, second in the 200-freestyle relay, and first in the 800-freestyle relay. A Colorado College record was broken during the event. Junior Austin Howlett topped his own CC record, and placed first in three-meter diving with 524.80 points.
The Classic is an important point in the swimming and diving season. It’s set immediately after winter break, but the break wasn’t all rest and relaxation for these teams. The men and women returned in early January for an intense training period that involves two-a-day practices. This physical exertion culminates in competing for three straight days, with only a very short break between the preliminaries and the finals.
When asked if there is more pressure for the team to perform well at their own invitational, junior Chris Garrity said, “The CC Classic comes right at the end of this heavy block of training, and as you can imagine this makes stepping up and racing in the meet that much more difficult. However, it’s always been important to us to perform well in our home pool regardless of how physically broken down we are.”
Garrity goes on to explain, “Looking beyond the meet, our whole season is based upon swimming well at SCAC Championships and NCAAs. To get an opportunity to race at home, in a similar format to the way we will next month at SCAC Champs, is valuable. It’s less a matter of feeling pressure to perform than it is capitalizing on an opportunity to work on our races”.
The Classic involves swimming in the morning and then again at night, which imitates the pace of the SCAC Championships. The Championships are scheduled during Block Break 5.
Dilorati had a similar opinion to Garrity. “The Classic is more of a dress rehearsal to get us prepared for championships. Overall, the team did a great job despite how tired and broken down everyone was. There was a lot of fast swimming, which is a promising sign of what will happen at championships,” she said.
“It’s really important to keep up good race strategy and high intensity even when we are so exhausted” Garrity tells us. “Our coach, Anne Goodman James, likes to use the phrase ‘learn to suffer well,’ and I feel like we accomplished that, and then some, this past weekend”.
If these teams can accomplish so much during the Classic after pushing themselves through difficult training, then hopefully Colorado College can look forward to even more victories in the upcoming championships.