Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 19:10
Brandeis’ pool was home to a competitive event for the first time in three years this past Saturday.
The pool in the Joseph M. Linsey Sports Center, which has not hosted a competitive swim meet in three years, was home to the Alumni Swimming and Diving Meet last Saturday.
The event featured both past and current swimmers in timed races and diving competitions.
This event is traditionally held annually to both welcome back the alumni swimmers and kick off the swimming season by introducing the current squad
However, hosting the meet has proved implausible recently given the lack of a functional pool for the past three years after it was closed due to notable maintenance concerns.
“The meet provides a great way for the alumni to get back on campus and meet with the current swimmers.” said coach Mike Kotch. “It’s also a good networking tool for the students to meet and interact with the alumni.”
The meet featured races of all sorts — from backstroke to the individual medley, as well as some relay races.
Though the races were timed, they were ultimately friendly competitions and provided a concrete way for much of the alumni to get back into competitive swimming in a relaxed environment.
Following the races, the lanes were cleared for diving competitions amongst the alumni. The swimmers were of all ages, and there were several races over the course of the event, which lasted a good portion of the afternoon. In addition to having an official on location to record times in swimming events and performances in diving, the scoreboard was up and running for the racers to see their times places live.
The event was relaxed and enjoyable for all, both in the stands and in the pool. When not swimming, the athletes talked to each other and laughed while cheering on the people in the pool. After each race, the swimmers would cheer for everyone, regardless of who emerged victorious in the event.
For added support, there were also family members in the pool area watching the events.
Despite the nature of the atmosphere, Kotch said that he uses the event to keep an eye on his current swimmers and see where they are in their training, thereby giving them a point of reference off of which they can base their training.
Overall, given what he saw this weekend, Kotch is enthusiastic about the upcoming season.
“These kids are working very hard,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of swimmers. They’re good students and should represent Brandeis very well in this upcoming year.”
The team opens its schedule on Saturday at home against Wheaton College. And while this weekend’s event was a nice christening of the new-and-improved pool, this weekend’s event will officially mark the return of swimming and diving at Brandeis.