Historical season for athletes

THE ENGINEERS DOMINATED in every single dual meet this season for the first time in school history.

The Engineers placed second at the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association Championship Meet. Ithaca College earned the first place trophy by accruing 35.5 more points than the RPI women. Stevens Institute of Technology bested the men by 278 points. Three school records were broken and three NCAA B-cut times were reached.

Both the men’s and women’s teams won every dual meet during the season. The men also captured first in every invitational they competed in.

Senior Arthur Schick, Backstroke and Freestyle, Senior David Connor, Breaststroke, Senior David Gardiner, Backstroke

“There is no doubt that this season was one that will go down in history. This team remained undefeated throughout the entire regular season and placed the highest yet at our state competition. As captains, we were proud to lead this talented team through every challenge that faced us. Going into this season, we upheld high expectations knowing the talent and commitment level of this team. Looking back on how we wanted to perform this season, we accomplished everything on our checklist. The biggest goal was winning the Liberty League Championships for the second time in our four-year career. Finishing it up with a Top 2 finish at states was the cherry on top. Our favorite part of the season was the determination we held through all of it. There was never a competition that we went into doubting ourselves, because we all knew that the difficult training we were put through would always pay off. The most interesting thing to notice was how the new freshmen class grew through it all. They came in as a collection of individuals from different states and teams, each with their own idea of how training works. To see them work from using PVC pipes in the weight room to challenging the upperclassmen in and out of the pool was extremely rewarding. Overall, setting goals for our team and then watching everyone rise up together and completely meet those goals has been a unique and unforgettable experience. To be able to call this team our family was the biggest honor we received this season. We don’t know if there is any better way to end our swimming careers.”

Junior Annika Lindstrom, Butterfly and Individual Medley and Junior Anna Drechsler, Freestyle and Breaststroke

“Starting this season I had no idea what it held in store for our team. We started out very disconnected by the months spent apart over the summer and overwhelmed by the amount of new freshmen. We didn’t really know each other, as swimmers or as people. That would change drastically over the course of this season. With every tough practice and successful meet that passed, we grew closer and closer as a team. We began to see each other not only as teammates, but friends and family too, and it became very evident in our swimming. We started swimming for each other and for our team, not only for ourselves. This past week we were at our state championship meet, the last meet of the season, and one we build up to for weeks. It was a week I will never forget; historically, the women’s team has placed in this meet ranges from 7th to 4th, never really breaking top 3. We went into this meet determined to place top three, people were on edge and nervous, but we came together there like I’ve never seen before. We supported each other’s swims; when one person faltered there was always someone there to pick them up. We laughed together, we cried together, and we swam together, many people swimming faster than they ever have before. While in the end we narrowly missed winning the meet, we still got second, a feat that RPI has never accomplished, and something I think all of us will remember for the rest of our lives. I walked away from this season not only as a stronger swimmer, but a stronger person, and I think that is something that can be said about the whole team, my family.”

Senior Maddie Miller, Diving

“This year has been historical for the women’s swim and dive team. This is the first time ever that we have gone undefeated. Most people think of swimming and diving as an individual sport, but if you ask someone from the team, they will tell you it’s not. Although there may only be one person in the lane or on the board, we are always competing as a team – we are getting points for our team. When we won meets, it wasn’t just because of the people who placed first, it was also because of the women who came in second, the women who out-touched the opponents and the women who cheered and pushed their teammates. We won because of the hard work we all put in, even when we were exhausted.

“This year’s dive team is the biggest we’ve had so far. We have five women and five men. When I learned that we had such a big team, I was a bit worried as to how we would get along. Divers tend to be a little on the crazy side; I mean, you kinda have to be when you are throwing yourself off a 3 meter board. I can’t say it enough, but this team is my family. We have the mom, the annoying younger brothers, the crazy uncle, the cat lady, and the sisters. Our team has been a constant support system to each other as divers, and to the rest of the team. Without all their antics, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.”