Hounds swim to NE-10 victory once again
First-year swimmers Carylyn Waite and Niamh Morgan both had different journeys to Assumption College, yet they find themselves here, helping to raise the women’s swim team to new heights.
Both Waite and Morgan have been swimmers since a very young age, but ever since they discovered competitive swimming it has become an integral part of their lives.
Morgan began swimming around the age of nine, but it wasn’t until former Olympic swimmer Colin Lowth spotted her that she realized her passion for it; Lowth recruited her for a club team, and so began her love for swimming.
“I started off at the age of 14 just giving it a go and having a try, and I loved it,” Morgan recalls. “Everything else went out the window.”
Waite, on the other hand, has always had an affinity for the water.
“Apparently I’ve always loved my baths [as a baby], so I guess I already liked water as it was.”
Later, when Waite was about eight years old her parents set her up with swim lessons and ever since then she has been swimming for club teams.
Morgan winding up at Assumption College was pure serendipity. A native of Bettystown, Ireland, she had no idea the College existed until her dad heard about it during a chance encounter at the Dublin Airport.
Morgan soon found herself setting up a Skype interview with Coach Stuart Cromarty.
“I liked Stuart the best out of all the coaches I was talking to,” Morgan admits with a laugh.
She found Assumption a good fit for other reasons, as well.
“Coming from a country of just four million I didn’t want a school with a huge amount of people, because that would have been very overwhelming, especially since I’d be trying to learn a new culture,” says Morgan. “I also liked the thought of a liberal education because that’s not something that’s available to me in Ireland.”
Waite’s decision to come to Assumption was more methodical, as she went through a list of roughly 50 schools with her college advisor. She knew she wanted to go out of state but stay on the east coast.
“I definitely wanted to go out of state. [Staying in Florida] wasn’t an option,” she said. Waite went on five recruiting trips but found Assumption to be the best fit.
Like Morgan, Waite also liked the idea of a liberal arts institution.
“I don’t know my major yet so I feel it gives me an opportunity to explore a little bit,” said Waite.
Now settled in at Assumption, both Waite and Morgan have adjusted and excelled. They have been instrumental in the team’s success this season and were immense contributors in the Lady Hound’s recent Northeast-10 Championship victory.
Morgan swam impressively over the course of the three-day NE-10 championships. She snagged her first NE-10 gold medal with a time of 2:07.99 in the 200 IM, shattering the previous school record held by teammate Victoria Weber. Morgan continued her trend of breaking school records in the 400 IM, posting a time of 4:30.02. Her dominant performance earned her the NE-10 Swimmer of the Meet.
Waite contributed to the Hound’s victory with after achieving a gold medal in the 200- freestyle with a personal-best time of 1:51.70, breaking the record she set earlier in the season. She also helped her teammates in breaking a school record of 1:46.32 in the 200-medley relay on the first day of NE-10 Championships. The Lady Hounds went 10 for 10 in the relay events –
a first for the NE-10.
While Waite and Morgan had impressive individual performances, it was all part of a collaborative team effort. Their first NE-10 Championships was filled with support and comradery from their teammates.
“It was just an amazing experience, I’ve never been involved in something like that where the team is just so together,” said Morgan.
“It’s awesome to see how the freshmen [SIC] experience it for the first time,” noted sophomore teammate Rachel Gagnon. “The team atmosphere was just great this year.”
The team could not have achieved this level of success without preparing the underclassmen for competing at a college level.
“The upperclassmen really helped establish a culture of what is needed for the season,” said Coach Cromarty “The girls just had incredible work ethic. Anything I threw at them, they did.”