Senior swimmers reflect on Eastern careers


Sean Hastings

Senior Patrick Wood swims the backstroke leg of the men’s 200-yard relay Saturday against Valparaiso at the Padovan Pool. He said one thing that has made his senior year fun was being able to be on the team with his younger sister, freshman Lindsey Wood.

Adam Shay, Swim Reporter

Now that the Eastern men and women swimmers have concluded their careers swimming at the Padovan pool, they have a chance look back at their collegiate careers.

Panther swimmers have been a part of the swim team as long as their freshman year, giving them experience when it comes to career highs and lows. For some swimmers, they are content with how the team has grown closer since their freshman year with coach Jacqueline Michalski, senior Patrick Wood said.

“I think the biggest thing for me has been seeing the team grow and evolve,” Wood said. “During the first year a lot of guys came and went, but through the years, we ended up creating a strong team of motivated and all-around good guys.”

Wood said swimming has taught him to work with others, and because of that, the Panther swimmers are an incredibly close team, especially having to work together on the relays.

What also makes the team so close aside from working together is how supportive they are of each other. This is shown the most during conference when every swimmer’s hard work is put to the test.

“I have also always really enjoyed conference,” Wood said. “It’s the time when we are at the peak of our training. Posting good times and watching teammates get best times has always been my favorite parts of the season.”

Wood specifically values this year because he has had the chance to swim with his freshman sister, Lindsey Wood, he said.

For other swimmers, being competitive as a team and overcoming fatigue during specific meets has been career highlights.

“Some standouts this year was our three-point win over Lewis,” senior Emily Stroud said. “We were all tired, but still got up and outraced.”

Also, for Stroud, she has dedicated herself enough to break her own personal goals. When it comes down to meets including multiple teams, Stroud rose to the occasions.

“Another standout was breaking a minute in the 100-back during the 400-medley relay at House of Champions and breaking it again the next day to make finals in the individual,” Stroud said.

When Stroud broke one minute in the 100-yard backstroke, that put her in the Eastern record books as she cracked the top 10 for best times in that event.

As seniors leave Eastern, all they can do to help the team’s future is to provide their insights for the freshman on the team. Over a freshman’s next three years on the team, Wood hopes that they cherish the time they have at Eastern, he said.

“Appreciate the time you get to spend with your teammates,” Wood said. “Learn lessons in the pool and apply them to everyday life. Most of all, enjoy the now. Time goes by fast, and it’s going to be really different next year for me without all my teammates there.”

Adam Shay can be reached at 

581-2812 or [email protected].