Treading water is one thing, but actually competing in a race is an entirely different story.
The principle holds true for the newly formed swim team. Only a year and a half ago, their dreams of swimming competitively and being part of a team at the collegiate level were simply that — dreams. But now, thanks to a little paperwork and a lot of hard work, the University of Dallas Swim Club has successfully established itself as a permanent part of our bubble here at UD. Not only did they get their feet a little wet last season, they kicked some serious tailfin and they are back for more.
Co-founders Jacob Loel and Elizabeth Schmitz, along with fellow swimmer Lucy Bennett, were all nice enough to discuss their goals and expectations for the upcoming season in an interview. Quite early in the discussion, it became clear that these swimmers were not just starry-eyed dreamers anymore. They accomplished their mission of starting a swim team and now they wanted more.
They have set their sights on several potential upcoming meets, some of which extend beyond the borders of Texas, including both New York and Louisiana. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the upcoming season, however, is the arrival of the new freshmen swimmers.
“I’ve talked to a lot of them already,” Schmitz said with an eager face. “I know they’ve all got pretty good times, and we’ll need that this year.”
This fresh bunch of faces represents much more than just extra bodies in the pool; it’s the swim club’s first recruiting class. Of course, there were not any high school students who were actively recruited to come swim for the UD. But as Loel pointed out, having a swim team here at UD has already proven to be extremely beneficial, which the administration did not necessarily foresee just two short years ago.
“Swimming is one of those sports that really fits into the whole idea of prospective students for the University.” Loel said. “I think that [the administration] has seen, as all of us knew, that a large number of interested incoming students would be interested in something like swimming.”
Schmitz recalled how a member of admissions approached her to thank the swim club for their hard work.
“She just told me thanks because now we can say ‘yes’ when students ask if we have a swim team.”
Regardless of whether the administration saw this added benefit, the swim club simply seems happy to compete again. They looked a little surprised to even be answering questions about their standing with the administration, as if they had been an established tradition for several years here at UD. As the discussion wore on, it became increasingly clear, however, that the swim club has been a tradition for several years; it just took some time for them to be officially recognized.
The hard work and dedication demonstrated by the creators and members of the swim club serve as a model for anyone forced walk away from doing what they love.
“We always talk about how refreshing it is to just go for a swim,” Bennett said.
Refreshing or not, it has become clear that the swim club is willing to put in the hours necessary to accomplish their goals. While the speed and manner in which they have established their club is impressive, they refuse to rest on their laurels. The UD Swim Club officers are eager to take the next step and with eyes set on the future, they are anticipating their much-deserved success.