Club swimming offers community, conditioning to interested members


Niki Batac

Club member Andrew Jusbasche completes his lap during the team’s weekly practice sessions.

The Recreation and Convocation Center houses a six lane, 25 meter long pool that invites students and faculty members to dive into its depths and let the water momentarily wash away the day’s stress. To complement this amenity, the university also has a student-led swimming club, a program that provides the opportunity for connection among peers who share a love for aquatics.

The program is currently being managed by Co-Presidents Evan Hall and Maya Carter and Vice President Leah Rush – all three of whom share the responsibility of keeping the club afloat as well as coaching the participants. In comparison to NCAA curriculums, the swimming club offers exercise alongside leniency. Swimmers have a chance to progress further competitively if they wish, but they can also remain within the zone of recreation.

“I think that’s what kind of sets us apart from NCAA sports. People can feel more comfortable and you really get what you want out of it,” Rush said. “I hope that people will see the importance of the balance between school and staying fit … I hope they take away what it means to be an athlete, even if you are not competing at the varsity level.”

The club is made up of students who have had previous experiences in the pool before joining the team to represent St. Edward’s – some practiced swimming at a young age, and others swam competitively at their former institutions.

The program leaders acknowledged the difficulties that accompany exercising to meet the rigorous demands of a varsity sport, as they themselves have endured the challenge of keeping track of both academics and athletics.

The swimming club’s easygoing and productive routine includes training on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Participants are expected to attend a minimum of two practices per week and contribute their newfound skills to at least two meets.

“We usually do warm-ups, that’s usually a 200, 300 freestyle. Then we do kick, then we do pull. It really depends on whether we wanna go distance or sprints,” Carter explained. “We do have hard days and we do have easy days when we have fun.”

Sophomore Jose Perez and freshman Madison Baker offer their thoughts as club participants, emphasizing their appreciation for being able to rediscover their love for swimming.

“I really look forward to being a part of the team and everything that comes around being on the team,” said Baker.

The “community aspect,” Perez mentioned is not restricted to the ambitious and the cutthroat individuals. Rather, the club is something that can be enjoyed by everyone on campus who wants to take a dip in the water and make friends in the process.

“I’m happy that I’m on the swim team here. It’s a little bit lenient, lots of team bonding, just lots of fun.  Sharks and minnows every day,” Perez described. “Every time you go to practice, it’s a different setting.”