Jumbos ride wave of confidence into championship season

Hamilton Pool is pictured on Feb. 16, 2018. Evan Sayles/The Tufts Daily Archives

Following an inspiring performance at the Boston Winter Open at Boston University on Friday and Saturday, Tufts’ women’s swimming and diving team competes this coming weekend at the NESCAC Championships. The meet will be held at Wesleyan University, where the Jumbos will look to improve on their fourth-place finish from last season.

The Boston Winter Open provided a chance for Tufts to display its remarkable depth of talent. Despite being the only Div. III team in a field solely composed of Div. I programs, they competed fearlessly and put forward a number of personal best performances.

Senior Madeline Lee took part in the Jumbos’ winning performance in the 200-yard medley relay time trial, along with senior Caroline McCormick, sophomore Emma Seymour and first-year Serena Derderian.

Lee was ecstatic about the results and the individual milestones achieved across the board.

“It was really remarkable to see people from freshmen to seniors swimming lifetime best times,” Lee said. “I think between the men’s and women’s teams there were over 90 lifetime best times, which is really amazing. I had a couple of my own, and I know that the energy on deck was very high. It’s great to see spirits so high going into the championship meets.”

While some athletes will not be competing at the NESCAC Championships this week, just as some did not at the Boston Winter Open, they all remain a part of the same cohesive team. Individual accolades are also team accomplishments.

Coach Adam Hoyt also expressed this message, emphasizing the impact of the team’s strong chemistry on its success. He maintained the importance of the Boston Winter Open in boosting the team’s confidence and morale, and sending them into the championship season smoothly.

“We carry 24 women to our NESCAC championship, and we have 41 women on our team, and there’s a reason we carry that many,” he said. “It’s because, if we have 41 who really all come together and put together a great season everyone benefits and improves at a greater rate. So those women who competed this past weekend at BU really set the tone for our championship season, and have played a huge role in our success during the course of this season. It really is a team effort building throughout the entire season.”

The Jumbos see this weekend as a chance to build on their strong showing at last year’s NESCAC Championships. They have never scored better than third at the annual meet and are now looking at an opportunity to make history should they match their improvement from last year.

Truslow displayed confidence in the team’s ability to top their marks from previous years.

“I think we all were really excited about improving from eighth to fourth last year, but I also think a lot of us weren’t really happy about our individual performances,” Truslow said. “I really believe that we’re a lot stronger and more confident in ourselves. I think just looking at this weekend, it showed that our taper and our rest and all of our hard work paid off. That’s really exciting and shows greater confidence in our training, so all of the rest of the girls are excited to carry that through this weekend.”

While Hoyt noted the team’s pride in last year’s result, he remained particularly enthusiastic about this year’s group.

“Last year we moved up quite a few places, so we were all really excited about the team’s performance,” Hoyt said. “I think everyone felt that they competed and performed well, but I know that there was a good portion of our team that felt like they wanted more from that meet last year, and I think it’s brought a lot of motivation into our group this year to stay focused and really committed to our training plan. I’m really excited about how that sets us up for this year. I think we’re totally prepared to perform well this weekend.”

It is clear that this team knows its full potential, and is coming into the championship season riding a wave of confidence. These championship meets represent an opportunity to put on display all of the hard work they have devoted over the course of this season.

The Jumbos starts their championship season on Thursday at Wesleyan and will finish on Sunday.