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Destler Dodge

Finishing the season 8-2, as well as third place in the Liberty League is nothing shy of outstanding. Two outstanding swimmers — second year Film and Animation and Media Arts and Technology majors Amy Adams and Sedera Zbranak — were able to shatter multiple school records set by themselves, members of the team and swimmers that came before them.

At the forefront of this amazing season were Coach Mike Cahilll as well as Adams and Zbranak. Coming out of the deep end, first year Emily Lederman achieved an impressive nine wins in her first year swimming for the Tigers. All three women and their coach have been leading the team to the NCAA Division III Championships in relays. Not only was this a season of amazing swimmers, but it also was a season of raw teamwork and camaraderie in and out of the pool.

Cahill stressed that he had nothing but good things to say about the team and how they worked together. He said that teamwork was what made this season and this team one of the best he’s ever coached.

“It was really a good group of women who got along well, who went to practice all the time and worked hard. We were able to build each week,” said the veteran coach when asked about the season as a whole.

One thing that Cahill wanted to emphasize was that RIT swimming was about building on each and every success in order to grow a stronger program. This year was nothing but a result of the team's hard work. For example, Cahill brought up Zbranak’s character — both in and out of the pool. In her first year swimming for the Tigers, Zbranak pinched a nerve in her back, which resulted in her having to leave the pool during the last third of her rookie season. Bouncing back from that injury, though, Zbranak was able to shatter an RIT school record as well set her own personal record. This showed her dedication as a teammate as well as her improvements as a swimmer. Cahill was beyond impressed with the determination and tenacity that this team was able to channel into this past season.   

When asked about what Cahill wanted to see for the next season, he had one word come to mind: Build.

Building is probably the most important thing for any sports program. With every good season, there comes the opportunity to carry that success into a new year to grow a program that deserves more credit than it gets. The women’s swim program has the opportunity to grow into a powerhouse in the NCAA Division III 2017 championships.

From Cahill’s words and the articles written about the team, it seems their chances to make the NCAAs are within reach with a combination of hard work, recruitment and determination. Cahill explained that they had a few spots to fill for the upcoming season, but he has faith in his ability to recruit and the ability of the team to welcome in new members. Finding strong swimmers for next year and integrating them into the RIT women’s swim team family will be the cornerstone for the next season. If this can successfully be done, then RIT can rocket itself into the NCAAs not only as a competitor but as a powerhouse and a school for others to be afraid of. This would not only be amazing for the women’s swim team, but it would also set a precedent for all RIT sports programs. Having a winning team — especially if the team already builds on a year of success — will not only inspire other teams, but all of RIT.