Sewanee Swim & Dive team beats Birmingham-Southern

Sewanee Swim & Dive Teamby Katie Keith
Staff Writer

On January 18, the Sewanee Tigers Swim & Dive team hosted Birmingham-Southern at Fowler Athletic Center pool. The tigers brought their A-game to the pool that day, with both the men and women raking in high scores to beat their Southern Athletic Association (SAA) rival.

Inside the pool, Erin Neil (C’16) commented on how “the support from the parents and other Sewanee students added to the electric atmosphere, helping lead Sewanee to our victory over BSC.”

The final scores were 158-139 for the men’s squad and 171-118 for the women, clear victories for Sewanee. Sewanee swimmers finished with excellent times, often touching over 2 seconds ahead of their BSC competitors. Carolyn Rice (C’16) said, “two of the most impressive swims on the men’s side were from our seniors, Forrest Mayer in 100 Breaststroke and Alex Linton in 50 Free.”

In a long standing athletic tradition, the last home meet of the season is a time to honor the senior members of the team. This meet against BSC was the senior meet for the Sewanee Tigers, the seniors on the team are; Alex Linton, Forrest Mayer, Scott Wise, Astrid Escobar and Emily Blau. When asked about her time on the team, Blau gave a heartfelt response, “I have never met such a diverse and extraordinary group such as the swim team. Swimming is a mental sport just as much as it is a physical one. I would never have been able to wake up for 6 a.m. practice if it wasn’t for my teammates. We all count on one another to lift each other up when we are down and cheer for each other as we accomplish our goals. Yes, I dive off the starting block into my individual lane at the sound of the gun, but when I hit that touch pad at the end of my race, I finish for my team.”

The added emotions from the senior meet plus the fast approaching conference championship meet made this win over BSC especially sweet for the team according to Mallory Graves (C’16).  At the other end of the pool, the divers took tothe board with poise and precision, executing each dive excellently. Margaret Petersen (C’14) and Grace Cobbs (C’16) dominated the 3-meter event, with Petersen securing 1st place with an impressive 140.00 points.

Cobb would go on to win the 1-meter event with a score of 158.20, followed by Petersen and two other Sewanee divers, Anne Stuart Blanks (C’15) and Grace Baker (C’16). Blanks is new to the team and was nervous about joining, she explains, “Never having dived before, I was terrified of joining the team, but everyone was so supportive and encouraging that I was learning how to do flips off of the board in no time!”

The Tigers still have about a month left until the season’s end with the SAA Championships, but they have proven to be a strong and supportive team, one that will surely keep up the wins and is sure to do well at the SAA Championships.