Dear Wes Swimming & Diving By Caroline Murphy '20

During my time at Wesleyan I was lucky enough to call the swim team my home. I have made some of my best friends, met some of the most inspiring and motivating people, and have laughed harder than I thought I ever could. There is something about a frigid pool that really brings people together, and this particular swim team was no exception. Through thick and thin, test sets and hour of power, no matter what, there was always someone to talk to, joke with, cry to, and occasionally convince you it’s just summies tummy mid set not the stomach flu.

Swimming is hard, there are days I thought the set would never end and relied on the positivity and motivation of my team to get me through. Grinding through a set with your lane-mates and the euphoric feeling after a workout is a feeling like no other, today I am yearning for that. I have been able to reach goals that I had never dreamed of and I am so grateful for every moment I was able to represent Wesleyan. Any success I have had is because of the amazing support system that is my team, my coaches, my family, and my friends.

I have learned a lot through being an athlete at Wesleyan; I learned how to prioritize my life and budget time, how to plan ahead (like really far ahead), and how to trust people and look for the good within your community because in my case, they will not disappoint. If you’ve been to the pool you know there is that little window up top looking over the pool from the Freeman lobby; during my last practice, I watched as multiple coaches brought their athletes over and broke the news of their seasons ending, I saw hugs and tears, and I knew that it would soon be my turn. Having my season and career be cut short was shocking, it still feels like an open book. Finding out that you’re going to NCAA's is just as exciting every time, especially when you get to share that experience with fellow teammates and having that taken away is devastating. I am still trying to come to terms with it, whenever I have had to clear my head to find some sort of peace with anything, I’ve gone to the pool.

Caroline holding a photo of her classmates on Senior Day.

To help ease the pain I have been thinking about some of my favorite memories with Wes S&D and I hope that sharing these memories can only spread smiles and nostalgia so here are a few….

1. Our team cheer is a modified version of DMX’s “X gon’ give it to ya” (created by our beloved ex-diving coach) in which we walk out and form a huddle and start with a low rumble of call and response and get louder until the fourth rendition of “WES gon give it to ya” which is high energy all smiles. As a freshman, the first time being in the huddle and jumping around, screaming with your teammates is unforgettable. As a senior, being able to lead the cheer with your team is a privilege.

2. As a Sophomore, I was on a relay team trying to qualify for NCAA’s. Unfortunately, at NESCAC’s, our team had been (wrongfully) disqualified so we petitioned to time trial. We were approved and drove 7 hours to the men’s NESCAC Championships at Bowdoin to swim the race alone. Nerves were through the roof, but Z Kerrich, Hannah O’Halloran, Grace Middleton, and I got behind the blocks and had a full-blown dance party minutes before our race (Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool = ultimate hype song). With the entirety of our men’s team behind our lane and fellow female time-trailers from other NESCAC teams cheering us on, we did it, while also breaking the school record. By far my most emotional race as a swimmer.

3. Our 2019 women’s NESCAC meet was held at Wesleyan last year, there wasn’t a specific instance during the meet but if you were on that pool deck at any time, you felt the energy. We were a united front and swam our little hearts out, having fun and doing what we loved, singing, dancing, cheering, and just supporting each other. That was the meet of a lifetime.

Like I said above, these are only a few of the countless smiles, laughs and meets that I hold near and dear from my time at Wesleyan. I don’t think I will ever truly say goodbye to swimming. I am, like so many others, just hanging in there while trying to figure out my new relationship with my team and this sport. But I urge everyone to keep your own fun, crazy, hilarious memories on the forefront of your mind, try not to focus on what you’ve been robbed of and remember everything you’ve been able to do.

To Wesleyan Swim & Dive, Thank You for everything.

All My Love,

Caroline Murphy '20

Created By
Mike O'Brien