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The Blue & Gray Press | December 17, 2017

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Swim Team's Season Under Way With 'Blue and Grey Battle Royale'

P1010446By TRICIA ELLIOTT

On Saturday afternoon, the walls around Goolrick pool were decked to the nines in posters screaming “Go Big Blue” or “Break out the Grey,” marking the arena of the UMW Swim Team’s annual Blue and Grey Battle Royale.

This inter-house competition is the first meet of the season for Eagles’ Swimming and it has been for recent years.

“It is really our season kick-off. It gets the swimmers in a racing and competitive mindset, and it gives me a good idea as to where my swimmers are so I can think strategy and come up with a game-plan for the year,” said coach Matt Sellman.

This meet also tends to coincide with Family Weekend. Assistant Coach Kevin Malloy said this is great for the swimmers, especially freshmen, because their parents can attend their first competitive event, and possible the only one for students and parents who live farther away.

The swimmers were amped and ready to compete for bragging rights. The winning team would be decided based on who accumulated the lowest number of seconds for the duration of the meet.

The event started with 100 Individual Medleys, then 50s of all four strokes (back, breast, butterfly, and free), before ending with a free-style team relay. The winners of each heat provided their prospective team with a slight time advantage and were well-praised by their teammates who lined the edges of the pool.

In the end, the Blue team triumphed by a 1 second margin at 2”44’31 to 2”43’25. And while the Blue team may deny it, the meet wasn’t just about earning the right to rag on their teammates for the whole year.

As sophomore Austin Clark put it, “It shows me where I need to focus, where I need to focus my attention.”

Needless to say, this meet has provided the UMW Eagles’ with a good start to what will hopefully be a great season. The Eagles’ first legitimate meet of the season will be this Saturday, Oct. 2nd at the Potamac Valley Relays.