SwimCats trounce competitors
The Georgia College SwimCats hosted and competed in their first invitational of the season on Saturday, Sept. 8, drawing club teams from around the state and finishing first overall.
SwimCats placed first in the men’s competition and second in the women’s competition, giving them 307 points to finish ahead of their three opposing swim teams.
Competing with GC were the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Polytechnic State University. Second place went to UGA with 235 points, while Georgia Tech finished third with 180 points. Southern Polytechnic took home fourth with 149 points.
Student coach Stephen Hogan led the more than 30 swimmers to the first place finish after competing in 21 different events. SwimCats swam the breast stroke, back stroke, freestyle, butterfly, medley and relays.
Freshman swimmer Joshua Vieira was impressed by the outcome of the invitational and was proud of his team’s first place win.
“I just wanted to beat the University of Georgia and Tech,” Vieira said. “It was an overall solid meet, but I believe the next one will be even better. Teamwork was key.”
Maddison Peters placed first in the 200 freestyle event with a time of 2:06 out of five other women, including one of her teammates, Emily Buckingham, who finished fifth with a time of 2:26.
Junior swimmer Wally Senter finished first in the 200 freestyle event with a time of 1:52 beating out 11 other competitors. He also finished first in the 100 individual medley with a time of 1:00.
SwimCats have been intensely training for two weeks in order to be ready to compete in this invitational and prepare for future meets.
Senter has been making use of the two-a-day practice time to get in shape for the start of his third season competing for the club team.
“We started practicing about two weeks ago, so we’ve been doing a lot of conditioning. Soon we’ll start getting our yardage up,” Senter said. “I really want to keep up my level of intensity this season since I’ve competed for two years.”
Freshman swimmer Shelby Osborne was thrilled to be competing in her first college meet and looks forward to the rest of the season.
“I was nervous, but excited,” Osborne said. “We’ve been practicing Monday through Thursday twice a day to get prepared. I definitely want to get back into the shape I was competing in before.”
The team is now working toward preparing for the rest of the meets this season. SwimCats is now in the process of scheduling the rest of their competition dates.
“We’re still working on the schedule for this season,” Osborne said. “We hope to have at least two or three away meets this year.”
As far as home meets, the club plans on preparing for cooler weather indoors.
“We also will move into the Wellness Center for home meets when the weather becomes cooler,” Vieira said.
The SwimCats is a student-run, faculty-sponsored club team.
The team wants the fans to support them at their meets.
“It’d be great if people came out to the meets,” Senter said. “Just like basketball or football, crowd noise always helps. It gives us that home-pool advantage.”