Swimming culture lives on at CWU

Austin Lane, Senior Sports Reporter

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The CWU Swimming Club hosted the Wildcat Invite, its first swim meet of the school year last Saturday. Swimmers from both the CWU and Washington State University (WSU) swimming clubs met at the CWU Aquatic Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  WSU won the meet by a combined score of 722.5 to CWU’s 604.5. 

The club is one of the 12 sports clubs offered to students at CWU. Evan Luttrell, president of the club, said the club is important to campus because of swimming’s importance in the state.

“The culture of swimming is very prominent, especially in the state of Washington,” Luttrell said. “Having a swim club, since we don’t have a team, is very important and helpful for those that would like to continue that culture.”

The club kicked off the meet with a huddle and a loud “cats on three” chant as parents watched from the overwatch above the pool. Over the past year, the club has seen an increase in student participation. Camden Rimby, Student adviser for the club, said the increase is exciting to see as it gets more students involved on campus.

“Last year the program was pretty small. We’ve quadrupled in size over this school year, so we’re really excited to see the growth and the numbers that we’ve had,” Rimby said. “It’s allowed us to put on more events like this and get more of the swimming community involved so that the swim team can be successful moving forward.”

Maya Lawson-Rivera, the club’s vice president, said after she graduated high school she felt lost and didn’t know what to do. The swimming club gave her a chance to ease the daily stress of life in college.

“I have a lot of fun being able to get out of the house and take a break from homework and real life,” Lawson-Rivera said.

Luttrell and Lawson-Rivera’s message to the team is straight to the point.

“Our main goal is to work hard and better ourselves physically and mentally, but most importantly just have fun,” Luttrell said. “Nobody’s doing swim because they have to, they’re doing it because they think it’s fun, so that’s the message Maya and I push out to the team.”

CWU won the first event of the meet, the mixed 200 yard medley relay, by less than a second. CWU also comfortably won the mixed 400 yard freestyle relay by over 20 seconds. Individually, Cameron Quick won the mixed 100 yard freestyle and Colten Ellson won both the mixed 100 yard backstroke as well as the mixed 100 yard individual medley. The event that had the most participants was the mixed 50 yard freestyle. Colten Ellson took second in the event and Ben Brick took third for CWU in the 18-swimmer race. WSU beat CWU in the female category 212.5 to 149 and won the male category by the slimmest margin possible, 296 to 295.5.

The club is open to swimmers of all skill levels and meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the CWU Aquatic Center. Those interested in joining the club can contact them at [email protected]