March 14, 2012

Swimming & Diving Seniors Reflect On Their Four Years At Holy Cross

Hey Crusader Fans!

Although our season has just ended, the seniors wanted to take some time to reflect on our favorite moments from the past four years. As you will see, it was difficult for us to pick just one aspect of our time on the swimming and diving team to share with you. We feel lucky to have been part of such an amazing team and are grateful to have so many memories to choose from. We hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane…

Maggie Beaudouin - My favorite moment by far in Holy Cross swimming is being a member of the school-record-breaking 800 freestyle relay at the 2011 Patriot League Championship. No one ever wants to swim in this relay because it requires you to swim eight laps, which is unheard of for most relay swimmers. I was confident in the ability of the other three swimmers: Annie O'Shea, Gina Mannix and Kristen Desrosiers, but in order to break the record we all had to swim best times. I'll never forget the looks on the faces of Navy and Colgate swimmers as they watched us rejoice over our seventh place finish. Little did they know, we had smashed our school record. This will forever be my favorite swimming memory because I accomplished a dream of mine with three of my best friends on the team. Once in awhile at practice I will glance at the record board and proudly remember that moment. I am extremely honored to look up and see my name next to O'Shea, Mannix and Desrosiers, three of the most dedicated and talented teammates I have ever had.

Colleen Bucci - Although it is challenging to pick out one memory, I'd have to say that my favorite memory was the ocean swim the team did during our freshman year winter training trip in St. Croix. I had never completed an ocean swim before and was very apprehensive about jumping in an ocean filled with sharks, turtles and other sea creatures. Thankfully, I was not the only one who was nervous! My teammate, Emily, grabbed my hand and we jumped into the water together. After swimming just over a mile, I rounded the final buoy to run onto the beach. I was almost toward the finish line when I heard the entire team screaming and cheering for me and the last few of our teammates and Coach. It was such a rewarding moment to have finally finished a long swim through the ocean. That ocean swim will probably be my first and last, but it was one of my favorite memories from these past four years.

Michael Burns - My favorite memory from the past four years is really difficult to pick out. But through all the training trips, broken records and long bus rides, my favorite memory is from the 2012 Worcester City Championship. What makes this meet in particular stick out is how both the men's and women's team rallied together and both came home champions. This win was the first time the men's team won WCC while I have been at HC, with WPI just barely beating us the past three years. Being a part of the team that ended the brief drought will always be a great memory.

Monica Cullen - Looking back on my four years, the first dual meet we won in college was the most exciting. It was a home meet versus Fairfield and there were so many close races! Swimming in college was so different from high school. Combined with all the new faces, Barry and our first win ever as freshmen, I knew I was in for a very exciting time with the Holy Cross women's swim team. Afterwards, there was so much celebration in the locker room and the girl's team all drew a purple "W" on their faces for "Win." As a freshman, I remember looking forward to all things we would do as a team. I'm so glad I continued to swim for four years, because I have met so many great people and seen so many great races that have made all of us so close.

Emily D'Angelo - Being on the team for four years has given us so many memories from traveling to St. Croix to Florida to Hawaii, the swim meets weekend after weekend and the countless hours spent practicing together. It is hard to pick out a favorite memory. One of my best memories of the swim team was our trip to the 2011 Patriot League Championship at Bucknell. It is always an exciting time of year leading up to Patriots, with the team is resting up and getting ready to swim fast to end the season. The atmosphere at the meet is so much fun and really helps to pump everyone up for their races. Everyone swam so well at the meet and it wouldn't have been possible without having all of our teammates and coaches standing next to the pool cheering us on. Being a three-day meet, swimming at morning and night is physically and emotionally draining but the fast swims, jokes and memories shared with our teammates during championships are irreplaceable. To top off a great weekend of swimming, it of course wouldn't be a complete trip for the Holy Cross swim team without something going wrong, so on the way back to school our bus broke down in the middle of Pennsylvania. While the coaches and trainers were trying to fix the bus, the team at least made the best of the situation and did our best to celebrate the end of another long season.

Carolynn Fitzgerald - Swimming for Holy Cross defied all of my preconceptions about college athletics from the very beginning. As a freshman, I arrived at the pool completely intimidated by the thought of swimming at the college level and had no idea what to expect. My anxieties soon disappeared once I came to realize that the Holy Cross swim team was more like a big family than anything else. My time at Holy Cross would not have been the same without the people I met on the team throughout the years, and the memories I made with them. I will never forget the training trip to St. Croix after my first semester on the team. After a week of hard training, the senior captains organized a snorkeling trip for all of us off of Buck Island, which is one of the most pristine protected national marine life preserves in the Caribbean. We spent the day swimming and snorkeling around the beautiful island and had an absolute blast with one another. Swimming for Holy Cross reminded me of why I always loved the sport so much.

Christine Karout - Over the past four years, there have been a ton of memories that it is so hard to choose my favorite one. I will never forget all my teammates' great races, Barry's endless corny jokes, tough practices, bus rides and team dinners in Kimball. I would have to say my favorite memory was the freshman year training trip to St. Croix. Although practices were difficult, it was great to get to know the team better and spend our free time at the beach soaking in the sun. On our day off, we got to go on a snorkeling excursion and visit Buck Island, which was beautiful. Everyone was so happy and having so much fun, that it is definitely a time I will carry with me long after graduation.

Kendra Kline - How can I pick a favorite moment when I loved swimming for Holy Cross? My favorite team moment has to be the Worcester City Championship. It is my favorite meet for many reasons; the team always has amazing team spirit because the meet is directly after we get back from our training trip. We also tend to have tons of fans and the bleachers are packed with support. In addition, we are in tip top shape from the training trip so we perform well and the teams we race are right at our level of competition. This year, we were more nervous than normal because we really wanted to beat the Assumption girls to keep our title of Worcester City Champions. From the first relay to the last, Holy Cross performed to their absolute best and every swimmer came out of the water beaming with happiness that they swam well! In the end, we did it, MEN AND WOMEN WON the Worcester City Championship 2012! As the team likes to say, "We Run the WOO!" I have never seen the team as close together working for a goal, cheering for each other and swimming their hearts out. Got to love my HC swim and dive family!!!!

Lauren Leary - Because I was only on the team for three years due to a brief trial as a rower freshman year, one might think that I would be short on memories to pick my favorite from. There are so many, however, ranging from our training trip to Florida where it was so cold we had to physically hold each other in order to stay warm, to our balmy trips to Hawaii the past two years snorkeling, hiking and touring Pearl Harbor, that I cannot pinpoint one to reflect on. I would have to say that the general addition of my teammates to my life would be my favorite aspect of the Holy Cross swimming & diving team. Without the support from them, both in and out of the pool, as well as the consistent and often much needed support from Barry, I think my experience at Holy Cross would've been much less meaningful to me. Regardless of the hard workouts, long bus rides or seemingly endless swim meets, there was not a time where I wasn't thankful to be a part of this team. I am especially grateful for the relationships I have formed with my teammates in the class of 2012 and I think our time spent in Hawaii this year really solidified our already strong friendships. I will miss seeing them, as well as Barry, everyday and am sure they will all remain a large part of my life hereafter.

Patrick McMahon - One of the best memories I have with the swim team was during my first training trip in St. Croix. The specific day was one of our last days on the island and our entire team would compete in a mile ocean race. The outdoor venue was packed with various schools including local teams and colleges, and it was a bright and sunny day. Even our coach joined us in the race. We jumped off a massive pier into the crystal blue water and swam in packs across the ocean. It was an awesome race where we all felt united and ecstatic to have completed the trial together.

Lindsay Mlazgar - My favorite memory of the swim and dive team is really difficult to pinpoint because we have had tons of amazing memories together over the past couple years. I'll never forget the first meet freshman year when we beat Fairfield and everyone was so pumped up and excited over the big win. There was no better way to start our four years on this team than when our class was just "The Freshman 15." There was no better way to go out than as the Worcester City Champions for our fourth consecutive year but this time as the "Slammin' Seniors." But I don't think anything tops my favorite memory other than our class dance-off/ridiculousness in Hanselboogie our freshman year. I can't imagine college without my "Sophomore Wowie" or my "Jammin' Juniors" ...We'll always be the favorite class!

Annie O'Shea - It is really hard to narrow down my favorite Holy Cross swimming and diving memory. There has certainly been an array of adventures, competitions and Barry's one-liners. I would have to say my favorite memory occurred every meet when we said our team prayer. I think that everyone associates swimming as an individual sport and it is: you race in the pool alone, you feel the pain alone and whether you perform and improve depends on you. But when we say the "Hail Mary" together, it really makes you feel the presence of a team, and you also remember the unique identity of Holy Cross. I can't say that many other schools in the Patriot League are saying a prayer on the pool deck. I just love that camaraderie; it also just sets up the intensity for every meet.

Madison Walsh - I feel so lucky to have been a part of the HC swim team and to have been able to compete at the college level during my time here at Holy Cross. This team and this sport have given me so much throughout my four years that I am finding it nearly impossible to pick a favorite moment. Hundreds of moments stick out to me now as I think back to bus rides, team dinners, practices, airports, swimming pools, wins, losses, laughs, tears, all with my swim family. But out of all of those big and little moments, I have never been prouder to be a part of the Holy Cross swim team than at the 2012 Patriot League Championship. It can be hard for us to show up year after year at championships only to be knocked down by the faster teams in the league, but to watch my team never give up and to constantly support one another is the best part of the sport for me. While I did not end my swimming career with the swims I had hoped for, my team knew how to keep me laughing until the end. As a senior leaving the team behind, I can only hope that I have given them as much love and support as I have received. I am so thankful for all of my coaches and teammates, and the memories we have shared together --- keep it up HCS&D, I love you!

The senior class wishes to thank our families, friends, coaches and teammates (both past and present) for an unforgettable experience on the Holy Cross swimming and diving team. These four years have been truly amazing and we cannot say enough how grateful we are to everyone who has been a part of our time on The Hill. Go Cross!

Love,

HC Swimming & Diving 2012 SENIORS