The men’s swimming and diving team placed fourth last weekend at the NESCAC Championship meet. Scoring a total 1,019.5 points, the team exceeded 1,000 points for the first time in more than 40 years.
Despite the team’s record-setting effort, Bowdoin was outpaced by rapidly-improving league competition.
“The times that it takes to get into the finals at night are getting a lot faster,” said William Park ’19. “Other schools are moving up and getting fast swimmers. I think we are right up there and definitely on an upward trend. We are getting much faster too–it’s exciting.”
The NESCAC’s short season, which lasts only five months, forces the team to train heavily in between competitions, which poses problems for athletes, said Park.
“Most people are used to swimming year-round,” said Park. “It’s really a NESCAC thing [that] we aren’t allowed to start until November 1. Most college teams get to start before that and swim all summer. I think teams are taking advantage of the offseason and training more in season.”
The team also struggled to post consistent performances throughout the day.
“It’s hard to wake up in the morning and go fast,” Park said. “[We need to focus on] emphasizing that we have to go in the morning, and that it’s just as important as the night. I think over all we did a pretty good job.”
The Polar Bears benefited from multiple standout performers in the meet, including Mitchell Ryan ’19, NESCAC Diver of the Year. Ryan placed first in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events and will compete at the NCAA Regionals on March 1.
In relay events, the team had mixed results.
“We had a few disappointing relay swims,” Karl Sarier ’19 said. “But then we also had some really great ones that helped to bring us back on track. I was personally proud of the athletic and emotional effort that my teammates would put in when they noticed we were lagging in points and morale.”
Regardless of individual performances, the team finished the season proud of the collective efforts, said Park.
“Every year is different, but this year has been a really close group of guys,” Park said. “We feel like we want to support each other and want good things for each other. That is very beneficial, and not every team in the NESCAC has that.”