NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Westminster Colleges’ swim and dive season kicked off yesterday with their first practices taking place yesterday for both swim and dive. The season kicks off with a new face around the pool being a new assistant coach and the new full time diving Coach. Collin was the former diving coach at Georgia Southern University before making the transfer to Westminster after the resignation of Heath Calhoun whom went on to coach at his alma mater of Clarion.
Head swim Coach Pat Smith is looking optimistic for the season as well as being excited for our contention at the PAC swim and dive championships. After bearing the weight of not having a PAC title since 2017 the coaching staff has been hard at work recruiting new team members to try and break Grove City College's 3-year undefeated streak at PAC's. After being asked what the biggest thing holding them back from a title was Pat responded “It’s not that we don’t have fast swimmers or that we’re not working hard enough. The main reason is the lack of members on the team.” “Where Grove city can fill every lane, we sometimes only have half of our lanes filled. Since each swimmer is scored individually that can lead to a substantial difference in our standing overall.” This year the Swim and Dive team gained 18 freshmen from all around and who are eager to show their speed.
I got a chance to ask freshman swimmer Patrick Benedict about how he feels coming into the season. All around he’s excited and wants to get to work with his new coach. I asked him what he’s looking forward to and what he’s not looking forward too. “Mostly looking forward to meets and time on deck with the team. I miss that feeling in high school cheering on the team in close races and meets where it comes down to the wire.” As for what he’s not looking forward too; “Well getting up at 6am to get in a cold pool is never fun and neither is sprinting in cold weather on the field… but coach has a goal in mind and the plan is to just trust the process for me.” Practices just started on Thursday Sept 23rd and Patrick says he’s already had two good practices and is enjoying shaking the rust off. More to come from the swim and dive team soon.