October 14, 2022 | SPORTS | By Olivia Xerras | Photo by Anil Jergens

The Colorado College Division III Swim and Dive team had quite the Saturday last weekend. With the team separated into CC’s respective colors of Gold and Black, every race mattered to take the win. Co-ed relays, non-freestyle 50-meter sprints, and alumni races allowed for a fun kickoff to the long swim season ahead. With parents in the stands and team spirit recognized with eccentric outfits and tiger costumes, it was a great day to be a CC swimmer.

Olivia Crisafulli ‘25 emphasized her excitement behind lane five right before the first event of the day, the co-ed 200 medley relay.

“I’m really excited, said Crisafulli. “This is the first meet of the season, and the Black team is definitely going to win today.”

Because there is no technical prize for the swimmers on the winning inter-squad team, pride and bragging rights have become the single most important motivator. Loud cheering erupted from every angle of the pool deck from the moment a teammate’s name was announced to the final touch of the wall, which created an electric atmosphere that set the stage for the clear comradery and willingness to compete that this team has within them.

Kate Brush ’23, an All-American last season, indicated her excitement for this year and highlighted some of the goals she plans to achieve along with the team as a whole.

“This meet is always a fun way to start the season and get in some friendly competition,” Brush said. “The freshman class is super strong and I can’t wait to compete with them. This year, I’m hoping to qualify for NCAAs again, but with my teammates this time! I think we have a chance to send multiple relays to nationals this year.”

Kate continued to touch upon major assets the team has already been working towards in the pre-season. “Every year at our team trip to the CC cabin we establish team goals for the season,” Brush said. “Some things we are prioritizing this year is supporting one another both in and out of the pool, focusing on the ‘little things’ at practice like specific technique on a dive or a stroke, and most importantly trusting the process because we have a long season ahead of us!”

Charlie Baker ’24 agreed with Kate’s points, further highlighting the x-factor this group of swimmers hopes to obtain this year: an even stronger team culture.

“The Black vs Gold meet is always so fun and this year was no different,” Baker said. “This team is somewhat notorious for being loud, supportive, and borderline obnoxious at points, but that’s what makes being a part of this team so special. People will go out of their way to support one another and that genuinely is one of the most comforting feelings in the world because we all know there are 50 plus people who will drop anything and help you in any way possible.”

As a former year-round swimmer myself, I couldn’t help but feel thrilled for the season ahead for this group. The apparent togetherness, work ethic, and dedication these swimmers have to their sport is highly apparent. As Colorado Springs temperatures begin to drop, practice sets get harder, and intervals get shorter, the growth from this first meet to the next will be astounding to see. A great foundation has been laid from every active athlete to every injured player and alumni grouped into this squad.

Although Black took the prize this weekend, everyone on the pool deck will have bragging rights for the record-breaking season to come.

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