Swimmers set records, take down host Virginia
The CU club swimming team struck gold at this year’s American Swimming Association University League National Championships, earning its second straight title.
Eighteen teams competed in the third annual event, which took place at the University of Virginia on April 14-15. CU earned 668.5 total points and defeated last year’s runner-up, Virginia. The host team posted a total of 531 points.
“It was very exciting to see our student-athletes go out there and hold their own,” head coach Nate Rothman said. “They swam incredibly, and I am very pleased with how everything went.”
A competitive regular season helped the team achieve postseason success, junior and men’s captain Piers Blyth said.
“I think we had one of the fastest teams we have ever had. We were feeling strong throughout the season,” he said. “We kept up with a lot of Division II and Division III teams this year, so we expected to do pretty well going into the championships.”
Rothman said the tournament’s results exceeded the team’s expectations.
The competition saw a total of 28 records established throughout the weekend. CU set 16 of those records. Blyth set the men’s records in the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke and 25-yard butterfly events.
Women’s captain Taylor Bleidt set one individual record in the women’s 200-yard freestyle event. The sophomore also achieved five final first-place finishes.
“The team is constantly building together and getting better,” she said. “It has been a really great year overall, and our times at the meet showed that.”
The team’s efforts at nationals stayed very consistent throughout the tournament, Rothman said.
“I think the big thing is we had a lot of depth. We had more than one person coming back in each (final) event every night, allowing us to move up and create a greater margin of victory,” Rothman said.
At nationals, Virginia’s home-pool advantage posed a significant threat to CU’s chances of repeating as champions.
“It is their pool, so they knew what to expect. They did not have to travel before the event either, which was a huge advantage for them,” Rothman said.
CU prepared for the trip by resting swimmers before their departure to prevent exhaustion during nationals. Virginia’s home advantage played a big role in motivating the Buffs, Bleidt said.
“I think it really got us pumped to know that we would face an even bigger challenge going to Virginia,” she said.
The two-time champions have a lot of youth woven into the fabric of the team, fostering high hopes for next season.
“It’s great to know we have a young team because it means we can keep having success and building upon our foundation in the future,” Blyth said.
Rothman attributes much of CU’s success to the strong relationships his swimmers have built with each other.
“Our team has a great camaraderie, and I think I saw a lot more interaction and teamwork between our swimmers at nationals compared to the other teams,” he said. “A lot of people think of swimming as an individual sport, but having a team is really important because the interaction can really get you fired up.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Corey Jones at email@example.com.
- Spring is in the air: Club baseball takes to practicing indoors
- Snow slows club softball, team looks to improve
- Club sports prepare for new season
- Fencing Club keeps ancient sport going strong
- Club sports have many ways to acquire funding