Club sport members may not receive the glamour that other athletes do, but for those that weren’t ready to make a full-time commitment to Division I swimming, their appreciation for the sport is still apparent.
“Swimming is more than a sport to me by now, it’s my life” sophomore Adam Myzal said, who is a North Penn High School product, one of the most established high school swimming programs in the state.
Unlike many of the NCAA athletic programs, the Temple swim club, which is affiliated with the American Swimming Association, has to pay its way to keep the club afloat.
Fundraisers are also mandatory in order to foster money to attend events like national championships, which will be held at the end of March at Georgia Tech, the same pool where the 1996 Summer Olympics were held.
When asked if receiving respect was an issue, sophomore Kristie Otto declined the fact that respect isn’t expected or important to the swim club.
“We don’t get the respect the other athletes do, but we also don’t have scheduled training as often as they do, and our meet schedule is pretty relaxed,” Otto said. “However, we all train really hard to do the best that we can, and we do care about the results.”
Scheduling pool time has been an issue with the ongoing renovations of McGonigle and Pearson halls, but the Temple Swim Club still manages to practice Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 8:30-9:30 p.m. in order to prepare for nationals.
Practice actually isn’t a nuisance with this group of swimmers, in fact it’s something to very much look forward to.
“Come by the pool at the said hours, and see that we train hard, we work hard, we laugh together and we just make our times together memorable” Myzal said.
When not practicing, members still manage to get in the pool on their own time and workout in the gym whenever the opportunity arises to fill the void of not being in the water everyday.
“I know that everyone has been doing individual workouts on their own time to try and stay in shape,” Otto said. “We’re all really serious about doing well at nationals, and I know that as soon as we officially start practice we’re going to hit the ground running.”
Winning nationals may be a tough feat to conquer with schools from the East Coast and the Mid-West attending, but capturing medals isn’t the most important aspect. The opportunity and affection for the sport is what counts, according to the club.
“I’m by no means expecting our team to win at nationals, there are a lot of great schools that will be participating, but I will be looking forward to some best times from all our swimmers,” said sophomore Nick Englisis, the short distance back and free stroker who also holds the vice president position of the swim club.
“We’ve all been working really hard to make our club team as [legitimate] as possible,” Englisis said.
Legitimate or not, the swim club will continue to navigate those beloved waters all the way down to Georgia Tech for nationals.
Chase Senior can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org