Early mornings and endless laps give team an edge

Freshman Kayla Smith during the 2009-10 season University of Miami Swimming & Diving Photo Day. Courtesy JC Ridley

Swimming is a world-renowned sport that has numerous amount of fans and followers, but here at UM swimming is not viewed as a popular sport and doesn’t receive support from a strong fan base.

The women on the swim team are some of the most hard-working athletes at UM and all their dedication does not get recognized. Sophomore Roxy Meyer, who specializes in backstroke, is very passionate about her sport.

“Swimming is a solitary sport that requires an athlete to dedicate a lot of time and effort into practicing, both in the pool and out,” Meyer said. “It seems as if people don’t take our sport seriously and fail to recognize the amount of dedication that is involved to achieve success at this level. I feel that if we had more supporters at meets, it would serve as a huge motivation for our team and I think it would boost our individual performances tremendously.”

The University of Miami offers 15 varsity sports, all of which are easily accessible for the student body to enjoy a game. Not only are the games minutes away from where classes are, but students also get in for free with their Cane Cards.

The women’s swim team trains for hours. They work every muscle in their body and never complain, giving them the endurance most athletes only dream about.

“[Other UM athletes] can’t compete with us,” sophomore swimmer Taylor Grenda claimed. “If they were to swim a 500-yard long course, it would take them three hours. We are the hardest working team at UM.”

Their schedule is extremely demanding. Their practice schedule runs every morning before classes, from 5:45 to 7:30 a.m., and every afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., depending on how much they get done.

“Basically [swimming is] a full time job, that most people don’t realize,” Simpson said. Some people go to school and complain about 8 a.m. classes, but we’ve been up for three hours already.”

Michelle Salom may be contacted at msalom@themiamihurricane.com.