Swimming and diving prepares for season with intrasquad meet

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The Northeastern University (NU) swimming and diving team participated in their first and only exhibition meet of the season in their intrasquad meet Saturday.

Head coach Roy Coates said the meet was especially important for the team’s newcomers, who experienced a college swim meet for the first time.

“The big takeaway was to see the 12 new people on our team get up and compete,” he said. “We have seen them in practice, but it was good to see them in a competitive situation.”

Fourth-year captain Christine Leong highlighted the strength of the team’s additions.

“We have a really strong freshman class,” Leong said. “They surprised me with how well they swam.”

The meet held extra importance for first-year swimmer Matilda Weiler from Vejbystrand, Sweden, who encountered a foreign meet format and team environment compared to her home country.

“I haven’t had much experience with American meets so it was really different,” Weiler said. “The big difference was that people really cheer for you and support you as a team.”

With unremitting cheering, the team’s unity and pep was palpable for onlookers at the meet, starting with the team introductions and carrying throughout the meet.

“There’s a lot of team spirit here and I love that,” Weiler said.

Decked out in everything from face paint to trash bags, the team tapped into their less serious side during the meet as they encouraged their teammates from the pool deck while awaiting their event.

“Intrasquad is always very exciting,” Leong said. “We split into teams, make posters and dress up […] It’s a big team bonding thing”

This week, the team will be preparing for their first real test of the season: a meet against Wagner College Friday at 6 p.m. in Barletta Natatorium.

“[The first meet] always has a little more energy to it,” Coates said.

The meet coincides with the team’s Parent’s Weekend, adding to the festivities of the first official meet of the season.

Leong said the team is ready for the season to get underway.

“It’ll be fun to get on the blocks for real against Wagner,” Leong said. “We’re just looking to have fun with this weekend and see where it goes from there.”

Even though Coates did not discount the importance of the first meet, he made it clear that the team has bigger goals in mind.

“Our sport is about how we finish at championships,” he said.