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Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Season Preview

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By Chelsea Howard, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As a former Penn State student-athlete, this season I will aim to bring all the fans an interesting and unique angle to cover men's and women's swimming and diving.

As a junior studying Journalism in the College of Communications, I am eager for the opportunity to combine my passion for writing with my passion for sports. I have always been interested in sports and at a young age I started trying them all out. I went from soccer practice to swim practice to gymnastics, making sure I experienced most of the different types of sports.

I fell in love with swimming and gymnastics and continued to balance both of those while still keeping up with my schoolwork until my sophomore year in high school. At that point, it was time to make a tough decision regarding which sport I would continue to pursue and which one would take me further - swimming it was.

Since I have taken part with USA Swimming for 15 years, I have had experience at nearly every level of the sport from just taking swim lessons at a summer club to participating at one of the highest levels where I traveled all across the nation and later had the opportunity to become a part of a competitive Division I team, which you will find at Penn State University.

This season, I will strive to help every reader understand the commitment student-athletes must make to compete at the highest level, the difference between training for sprinters and distance swimmers, the tradition of the strong relationship that has been built between the Men's and Women's team compared to other universities who do not have combined teams. I will also share any differences between this season and past seasons in addition to several other traditions that the coaches have implemented for the swimmers and divers.

With the first team meeting last Tuesday followed by several dry-land practices through out the week, both the coaches and athletes are ready to get the season underway and continue moving up the rankings in the Big Ten Conference.

The upperclassmen have spent the past week welcoming the freshmen and making sure that they are adjusting well to a new home, a new practice schedule, and a new environment of learning. Before classes started, several of the seniors from the Women's team stopped by the freshmen dorms to take them on a campus walk and make sure they knew how to get to the buildings where they have classes.

At the football game against Ohio University this past Saturday, 600 athletes got the opportunity to walk on the field before the start of the game with t-shirts that read "One Team". This gesture marked the beginning of a new era for all of the athletes associated with Penn State University.

Both the men and women's swimming and diving teams met at The Natatorium before the game and walked over together. Sophomore Allie Roberts took part in this event and soaked in the moment.

"I thought it was an awesome way to start the year off," said Roberts. "After everything our school and athletic department have been through it felt amazing not only to be with my swimming teammates but also to come together with other athletes to support the football team and represent Penn State on the field."

With one week down, both teams are excited to put more work not only into the pool and the weight room, but also into the classroom to achieve the goals they have set out for this season.

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1 Comment

Great...I look forward to your insights.

Perhaps you can report on the progress of the new swimming facility.

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