Occidental’s men and women’s swim and dive teams competed against the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Biola University at a tri-meet Oct. 28, on Caltech’s campus. This is the third out of nine meets Occidental’ swim and dive team will be competing in before Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship.
A few highlights for Occidental’s swim team include Marina Wang (first year), landing second place for Oxy in the women’s 100-yard backstroke at 1:00.27, as well as landing third in the women’s 100-yard freestyle at 55.93 seconds. Joshua Biggs (junior) also landed Oxy at second place for both the men’s 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle, clocking in at 47.86 and 21.45 seconds respectively.
According to team captain Elsie Cady (senior), the tri-meet was still a good start to the season despite the losses.
“It was a great start to the season, especially for the divers. I think pre-season can always feel a little rocky, and you just have to calibrate with that first meet,” Cady said.
Cady said one mutual sentiment is felt among most divers — anxiety about the board they’ll be diving off of.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re walking into, and you don’t know if you’re going to have great facilities with great boards, or if you’re walking into a 50-year-old board that hasn’t been dove on in a really long time,” Cady said.
Diver Isaac Bassett (sophomore) said the most important part within competing is being at your highest potential — both physically and mentally — in the hours leading up to the meet.
“I think the amount that we practiced was pretty sufficient, and you got to be careful not to over-practice,” Bassett said.
Matthew Avery (sophomore), who is new to the men’s diving team, said the process in which divers prepare for their upcoming meet. According to Avery, there are six different dives they compete in from five different categories. During the meets themselves, divers have approximately 30 minutes to warm up before the actual competition commences.
Violet Schultz* (sophomore), a fellow diver at Oxy, said she is optimistic about the team’s next meet against Pomona-Pitzer and University of La Verne Nov. 11.
“I think it’s pretty early in the season, so we’re not getting too harsh on ourselves, but there’s definitely room for improvement and I’m excited for our next meet,” Schultz said.
Peyton Resto (sophomore), a swimmer at Oxy, said the team’s preparation for the competition was rigorous, with practices taking place at 6 a.m. and focusing on particular swimming methods. According to Resto, swimmers also build endurance by swimming sets in the pool, as well as using different swimming equipment — such as paddles, fins and other swim-training mechanisms involving resistance. They do this in an effort to maintain fast speeds as well as constant endurance throughout.
“It was interesting, because [the tri-meet] was late at night, and usually our meets are in the morning. But it was preparing us for SCIAC’s — which the finals are at night — so that was an interesting mix,” Resto said.
According to Bassett, the swimming and dive teams are remarkably close.
“I don’t even swim, but it’s fun to gather around a lane and cheer for people and see other people do well,” Bassett said. “But if you do well, that’s another benefit.”
According to Cady, both teams value sportsmanship and their relationships among teammates above all, despite how intensive their respective sports can be.
“Looking at the results – it looks like we’re all in our competition with each other, but that’s not really what it is,” Cady said. “We’re sitting on the sidelines, cheering as loudly as we possibly can for each other. Every win’s a win for everyone.”
*Violet Schultz is a copy editor for The Occidental.
Contact Amber Davison at email@example.com