Senior Spotlight: Women’s Swimming and Diving
Nate Rickard, Staff Writer
February 23, 2012
Filed under Sports
As defined by Merriam-Webster, destiny is a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power.
For biology major Maureen McDonough, the events were attending swimming practices when she was five with her mother — coach of McDonough’s team. The powers that be were in her lineage, as her mother was also a swimmer in college. For McDonough, the pool was her destiny.
“I started swimming at the age of eight and haven’t stopped since.”
Then there is Liverpool native Mary Chidsey, a math major. She too was destined for the water. At a pre-competitive camp, the club team coach and high school varsity coach urged Chidsey to consider joining his club team and mentioned that she had the makings of a great swimmer. Her older brothers swam as well.
“I decided to try it out and fell in love with it,” Chidsey said. “[I’ve] been swimming ever since.”
And as for sociology major Katie O’Donnell, her events took place even earlier.
“I’ve just always loved swimming. My mom started giving me swimming lessons before I could even walk,” O’Donnell recalled.
However, for all of these women, the power of destiny is what brought them together, to Syracuse, and to Le Moyne College. Four years ago these teammates took to the pool together and now face their final season, filled with memories and ambitions, lessons learned and lessons they wish to pass on. Collectively as seniors they use their knowledge to help the team grow. With a smaller team this year, they are more focused than ever.
“We all take leadership roles in terms of trying to inspire the team,” O’Donnell said.
“We also make sure everyone is up and cheering for each other,” Chidsey added.
These seniors look to excel and inspire, both in the pool and out.
“We set examples by showing up to practice on time, working our hardest in sets and making sure we stay on track in and out of the pool,” Chidsey said.
One of the ways the women do just that is by working with the Family Capped Program, which is a community service program where swim team members are able to swim with those who have disabilities.
“The program is the service learning project for the team and it’s really rewarding to work with such awesome kids,” McDonough explained. “Being recognized at the Founder’s Day Gala for the work [we’ve] done was my proudest achievement.”