While they may train year-round, the Kenyon swim team has just now started its winter season.
At last weekend’s Kenyon College Relays, the Lords took first place out of six teams, edging conference rival Denison University by eight points, while the Ladies took on eight teams and placed second to the Big Red.
Seniors Ryan Funk, Percy Gates and Joey Duronio led the team to victory, combining to swim 12 legs in the team’s eight winning relays. The Ladies won four relays, including a dramatic win against Denison by less than half a second in the 500-yard crescendo relay, swum by seniors Hannah Lobb and Mariah Williamson and first years Abby Wilson and Esraa Abdel Khalik.
During the Denison Diving Relays, the counterpart to the Kenyon College Relays, a pair of Lord divers, Brandon Roman ’16 and Ryder Sammons ’19, took third place in both the one-meter and three-meter competitions. On the women’s side, Maria Zarka ’16 and Megan Remillard ’16 took second place in both the one-meter and three-meter competitions.
“We are happy with how our team performed and even happier with how they conducted themselves throughout the meet,” Assistant Coach Fernando Rodriguez ’04 wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We were an exciting team on deck and in the water.” This year marks the Lords’ and Ladies’ 35th season since the Lords began their record-breaking win streak in 1980 and although the swimmers have changed, their end goal has not.
“Both men’s and women’s teams have goals of ultimately trying to win the national championships, but I think ultimately that’s always the goal,” Ellie Crawford ’17 said. “We’ll be happy if we’re just being the best team we can be.”
Though the season has just started, the Kenyon swimmers have been waking up before 6 a.m. for weeks now for practice.
“This is a tough part of the season,” Rodriguez wrote. “The swimmers and divers are being challenged every day. We are building our training and understand that it can be physically and emotionally draining.”
While many first years find the practices difficult, joining the Kenyon swim team has been a welcome change for some. “Coming from a very cut-throat high school swim environment, it’s very nice to come to a swim team where everyone is accepting and welcoming,” Wyatt Semenuk ’19 said. This year 22 first years joined the swimming and diving teams.
“I really like the new kids,” Fritz Josephson ’18 said. “They started out really shy like most freshmen, but they’ve blossomed into their own individuals — both in their own class dynamic on the swim team and within the school.”
“We’d like to get closer as an entire team this year, and we have some great potential to do that,” Gabriel Bellott-McGrath ’18 said. “We also want to reach out into the community some more — get some support at our meets and just kind of have a bigger presence on this campus.”
Kenyon’s swim teams compete next on Oct. 30 at The Ohio State University.