On Friday afternoon, the Emory Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams held their annual Blue and Gold Intrasquad Meet. Not only is the meet a highly competitive event every year, it’s also a great way to preview the season and get a taste of what’s to come and who’s to watch.
The Blue team was triumphant, winning both the men’s and the women’s fields. The men took home a 146-97 victory, while the women also took home a large margin win, defeating the gold team 159-97.
According to senior women’s captain Kylie McKenzie, they get really into it. There are various team competitions before the actual Blue and Gold meet, ranging from volleyball and kickball, trivia, dodgeball, and even an eating contest. Once they got to the Blue and Gold Swim Meet, it quickly became apparent which freshman are going to be an immediate to this year’s women’s squad.
“On the women’s side we have Annelise Kowalsky, who set three Blue/Gold freshman meet records for us this weekend in the 200 individual medley and both breaststroke events, along with Marissa Bergh who will be a strong contender in the 50, 100 and 200 free for us… Claire Liu, who swims sprint free and backstroke… Kristine Rosenberger, who swims sprint free and fly, Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe, who specializes in free and fly…and Grace Swinnerton, who will be a great addition to our backstroke group,” says McKenzie.
She says that along with the strong freshman class they have an amazingly high retention rate for upperclassmen, and will be returning twenty seniors this year. Though she thinks this is something that will help their squad tremendously, the class has a lot on their plate.
“Our biggest challenge is filling the shoes of the great senior class that graduated this past May. Every year you wonder how you could ever replace the seniors, but every year we have individuals who step-up to fill the void. Right now our biggest focus is to concentrate on getting better each and every day,” says McKenzie.
On the men’s side, senior Ryan Bass says that he thinks the men’s biggest challenge this year will be simply staying focused and staying healthy. The great thing about the blue and gold meet, he says, is that it mimics a meet environment: getting them ready to compete and race hard.
Five Emory men won a pair of individual events each.
Blue team: sophomores Jared Sheuer and Matt Wu (200 back and 200 IM), senior Ross Spock (500 free and 100 back), senior Jake Stephens (100 free and 200 free) , junior Hayden Baker (100 fly and 200 fly)
Gold team: freshman Mitchell Cooper (1000 free and 500 free), and sophomore Andrew Wilson (100 breast and 200 breast).
“I don’t think I have ever come into a season as excited as I have been this year. This will be my last time competing at such a high level, and its an opportunity that I hope to make the most of this season. Our team has a lot of potential. It’s going to be exciting to see what we can do in March,” says Bass.
The entirety of the Emory community is excited to see what this previous national championship squad has in store. Next weekend the squad travels to Division I UNC-Wilmington for their first meet of the season, starting Saturday, October 19th at 11 AM.