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Women’s swim and dive heads to NESCAC championships

February 16, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
(BUTTER)FLY AWAY: The women’s swim and dive team is competing at NESCAC championships hosted by Middlebury College this weekend.

The women’s swim and dive team has been making a splash this season, expanding on new training and building on its strengths to achieve its goals. Supporting each other has been a core attribute of the team’s dynamic in its endeavors, especially heading into NESCAC championships at Middlebury College this weekend.

Prioritizing rest and reflection ahead of NESCACs, the team is heading into the championships ready for anything.

“Right now, [the relays are] still up in the air, so I’m really excited to see who is competing and who gets a chance to step into the spotlight and give it all they got…. We’re all resting a little bit and we know we tried really hard,” Tatum Zupnik ’24 said. “We don’t know how far it’s going to take people…. I’m so excited because I have no idea what they can accomplish, but I know it’s gonna be a lot.”

The team has worked to add versatility to its training method this season and push its boundaries.

“I think this season has been a little bit different in focusing on slightly different events than I did in my first year, and it’s been fun to change it up and change up the training. I hope that we’ll see that this weekend,” Elizabeth Walsh ’26 said.

Head Coach Brad Burnham emphasized how important it is to continuously strive for new goals.

“We always believe we can improve on everything. It is an optimist’s world,” Burnham said.

Zupnik pointed out how much preparation, both physical and mental, goes into each meet, as well as the importance of trusting oneself.

“[Burnham] is so knowledgeable, and he has really helped me perform at my best the past few years, so I just try to trust my training, trust that I’m ready, get locked in, fired up and just do what I know how to do…. I’m very excited to wrap it up one last time and just really go for it this weekend and see what we can do,” Zupnik said.

The team is excited to see its efforts play out this weekend.

“I think we as a team have a very big culture of hard work, especially in the distance groups.… The team energy this season on deck has been really great,” Walsh said.

The supportive team culture extends beyond just the women’s team.

“Getting to know everybody on the team is really fun. I love coming to practice every day. One fun thing … was our [Colby-Bates-Bowdoin] meet at Colby. It was really fun to race because the men’s team wasn’t competing, but a lot of them drove up to watch us swim,” Sydney Lillis ’27 said.

Zupnik also emphasized how the team’s high energy during meets helps it succeed.

“We always have our pre-meet cheer which gets everyone really rowdy and usually out of breath and sore even, so that gets our energy up before we race…. We get in the mindset to support each other,” Zupnik said.

The team is equipped to see a big wave of accomplishments at the championships.

“On our way to a training trip, our flight was delayed over and over. The team simply entertained each other and kept laughing,” Burnham said. “That is when I knew we would be just fine through the ups and downs of the season.”


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