Alyssa Raga, Sports Writer
The Utica College swim team finished fourth in the Empire 8 (E8) Championships in February. The final scores from the competition for UC were 382 for the women’s team and the men’s team not far behind with a score of 290 to finish out the four day event.
The women’s team capped off the season at 6-9, while the men’s team finished the season at 4-8. Despite not winning at championships, the team had many good moments during the season, according to some of the swimmers on the team.
Senior Courtney Kennedy said she considers this season to be a successful one.
“What made me personally successful, I think, was my mindset during this year,” Kennedy said. “I really took the time to care about the sport and tried my hardest during everything that I did. Our team was successful because of the motivation we have and are given.”
Kennedy has many fond memories of the season, she said. However, one stood out more than others.
“My favorite memory from this season is probably senior meet,” Kennedy said. “It was so much fun to celebrate my accomplishments along with the other seniors’ accomplishments with our families, friends and teammates.”
Kennedy said she knows that winning is fun but losing is even harder. With that being said, she said she does not think that people should be so hard on themselves when things do not go the way they want them to.
“Personally, I think what I need to work on in the future is not getting so upset about not getting the outcome I imagined,” Kennedy said. “We all just have to realize that the time doesn’t matter as long as we are trying our best.”
Kennedy said she has enjoyed her time at UC and on the team.
“I’m going to miss just being a part of the team,” Kennedy said. “It’s like a family and it has been for the past few years. It’s going to be different to not be around them all the time.”
Senior Matt Patton’s favorite memory from the season also came from his time at the E8 Championships, he said.
“My favorite memory would have to be getting on the board one last time at champs,” Patton said. “The reality that I will never be called back up to the board and have another dive announced set in all in one bittersweet moment.”
While Patton said he is sad that he will be saying goodbye to the team and to UC in just a few months, that does not take away from his happiness of the success of the season, he said.
“I was personally successful because of my working relationship with my diving coach and head coach that kept me on my way throughout whatever setbacks came my way,” Patton said. “The team was successful because they kept their heads in the right place and focused on improving throughout the season.”
Patton said he is looking forward to seeing what the team will do after he is gone.
“I think the future of the team looks good,” Patton said. “The team was really young this year and all of them will end up growing up to be great swimmers throughout the next few years.”
Assistant coach Dean Schrider said she likes what he saw from his team this season such as the team’s focus on bettering their strokes
“One of the key things in swimming is having a good stroke, otherwise you are fighting against the water,” he said.
Despite the loss at the E8 Championships, Schrider is still happy with the season.
“The team put forth great effort,” he said. “They took what Coach Knight was telling them to improve in their events. In the end, I think their times showed their level of commitment and effort.”
Schrider also said he foresees “a lot” of improvement with the team in the future.
“Last year we lost a lot of seniors, so it is a fairly young team,” he said. “With how great this season went and how much they’ve improved, I’m excited to see what they can do with the years they have left.”