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Taking a swim at Cabrini

It is not common to hear many Eastern athletes commending Cabrini, but the members of Eastern’s swim club are appreciative of the neighboring college. The helpfulness of the Cabrini swim coach has made it possible for Eastern students to swim laps in their indoor pool.

“I loved how they really tried to partner with us,” alumna Emily Gwaltney said. Gwaltney graduated from Eastern in 2007 and was a captain of the swim club. She was grateful that Cabrini allowed Eastern students to use the facilities for free and that the coach even offered tips to the swimmers.

“It’s slightly inconvenient for [Cabrini’s team]; it makes their swim practice more crowded,” senior Caitlin Whitesel said. “They’ve been nothing but kind to us.”

Whitesel and sophomore Dan Wilson are the swim club captains. The club is entirely student led, with only the assistance of the Cabrini coach. It has been difficult for the club to get word out because it has received little support from the Eastern administration, although the club has existed for several years, Whitesel said.

The swim club meets at 6 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and it exists for exercise and enjoyment. “It’s always been casual,” Whitesel said.

“I am part of the swim club for exercise, but later in the season we are competing against other D-III schools in a time trial event and scheduled meet,” Wilson said in an e-mail.

Eastern students swim in an invitational at Cabrini every February. Although Eastern’s team does not count because it is a club, it is still good practice.

Anyone can come to the morning practices and become a part of the swim club. Participants meet at Cabrini’s pool or in one of Eastern’s parking lots to carpool. “You have people from very different levels,” Whitesel said. “You have people who have been swimming their whole lives and others who are learning.”

Despite the initial challenge of waking up so early in the morning, swim practice gives Whitesel a gratifying sense of accomplishment. “It’s a great feeling,” she said about working out by the time she reaches her first class. “[I think] ‘I’ve already exercised today. What’ve you done?'”

Anyone interested in joining the swim club can contact Caitlin Whitesel at cwhitese@eastern.edu or Dan Wilson at dwilson2@eastern.edu for more information.

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