OSU Women’s Swimming holds alumni meet

Current and former OSU Women’s Swimming members competing against each other in the annual Alumni Meet at Langton Hall.

Alexis Campbell, News Contributor

OSU Women’s Swimming welcomed back former members of the team to participate in an alumni swim meet at Langton Hall. Though scores were not taken at the event, alumni and current members of the team engaged in friendly competition as they participated in events with the graduation years of the alumni swimmers ranged from 2017 to 1995.

The meet kicked off with a 200 meter medley relay before moving into a number of individual events. These events included a 50 meter butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle as well as a 100 meter individual medley. The meet finished with another relay, this time involving the entire team. This last event was a cap change relay where the participants had to quickly exchange caps with their teammates before they could switch off.

According to Women’s Swimming Head Coach Jennifer Buffin, the meet is an entertaining way to keep alumni involved with the team.

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“This is a sport that you can do for a lifetime, so for many of the alumni it’s fun. That’s what it’s about, it’s about coming back, having fun, being in a place that you’ve spent so many hours and years in,” Buffin said.

During the meet, alumni competed with each other during each heat in the odd lanes in groups of either three or four while current swim team members filled in the even lanes.

According to Felicia Anderson, a third year Business and Communications major and current swimmer, she and her teammates jumped in whenever there was an empty lane between the alumni. She ended up participating in six events overall.

“It was a lot of fun. The alumni meet is always one of my favorite meets of the year because it really shows our Beaver history,” Anderson said.

The event was much less regimented than a usual swim meet, with swimmers participating in events they otherwise might not have, according to Anderson. She added that one her former teammates, Sammy Harrison, is a distance swimmer but swam in the 50 meter backstroke event.

Former OSU Women’s Swimming Head Coach Laura Worden, who coached the team from 1984 to 1989. According to Worden, the meet is valuable not only for alumni but also for current team members.

“It’s a good model for the swimmers that are here. To look up and see that the alumni are still swimming,” Worden said.

According to Buffin, the alumni meet is not necessarily about competition but rather getting the alumni to interact with each other and the current team. However, she admitted that some competition is inevitable.

“They’re very competitive. A lot of the alumni were division one athletes, and so I don’t think that ever goes away. They want to go in and be competitive,” Buffin said.

According to Anderson, the  alumni aren’t the only competitive ones. The current swimmers also felt the pressure to prove themselves.

“It’s all fun, but when it comes down to it nobody ever wants to get beaten by someone who’s not swimming anymore,” Anderson said.

In previous years the meet has been held at Osborn Aquatic Center, but this year it was moved to Langton. According to Buffin, holding the meet in Langton is meaningful to the alumni.

“It’s a very different environment than being at Osborn. To have it here, where they have practiced, it brings back some memories for the alumni. There’s history here,” Buffin said.