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Swim Club providing aquatic opportunity for all UNT students

Swim Club providing aquatic opportunity for all UNT students

March 30
22:08 2016

Nealie Sanchez | Staff Writer

@NealieSanchez

Standing at the end of the lap pool at the Pohl Recreational center with a handful of eager swimmers’ eyes on him, kinesiology junior Zach Munro pauses the beat of the latest Justin Bieber song, leaving only the sound of large, whirring fans. He barks out orders to the swimmers, and off they go in a fierce breast stroke.

Munro is not affiliated with the North Texas swim team. Instead, he is the vice president of the UNT Swim Club.

“We just like to have fun and swim. We’re not NCAA,” Munro said. “We’re for everyone.”

The club is for swimmers of all levels who have an interest in swimming regularly and competing in swim meets. This year, the club includes everyone from members who have no swimming experience prior to joining, to expert swimmers.

The all-encompassing acceptance policy invites freshman students who want to join a club to be a part of the team.

“I wanted to join a club, and [my roommate and I] thought it would be fun,” art sophomore Brea Lovelace, a second-year swim club member, said. “I love it.”

The club holds regular practices three days per week from 7-9 p.m. to work on swimming and prepare for upcoming meets. While attending every practice is not mandatory, Munroe said members are encouraged to come as often as they can.

There are between 35 and 40 members on the UNT Swim Club this year, which is six to eight members more than last year, Munro said. 

“The team has doubled in size the past two years, which has given our team incredible depth as far as talent goes,” kinesiology junior and club president Alex Blue said.

Many of the swimmers brought into the team said they have gained a family and strive for success in meets to help the team.

“I’m here for the team to be an encouragement and to get the most points,” kinesiology freshman Sydney Cooper said.

The number of members this year is considered an advantage for the team in the meets they attend in the fall and spring seasons, Munro said. The UNT Swim Club competes through the Southwest Swim League with eight other intramural teams, including the University of Texas at Dallas, Baylor University and Texas State University.

The Southwest Swim League uses a point system to score teams. The swim meets have up to 20 categories, with 10 for men and 10 for women. In every category, the five fastest times are given points, with first place taking nine points, second place earning seven, third winning five, fourth receiving three and fifth place taking one point.

The points are then totaled for each school to determine the winner for the meet. At the end of the season, the points from each meet are totaled to determine the overall standings of the teams within the league.

The team is currently gearing up for the Southwest Swim League Championship that will take place on Saturday, April 23. To prepare, the team is nearly doubling the amount of swimming done in practices.

“Usually we swim 3,000 to 4,000 yards in practice,” Munro said. “And now, we’re swimming 5,000 to 6,000 to get ready for the meet.”

Each swimmer is also taking steps individually to contribute to the overall success of the swim team, such as swimming independently and eating healthy.

“I’m swimming four to five times a week and going to two to three practices a week,” mathematics freshman Trent Pope said. “No more McDonald’s for two to three weeks.”

For two years running, the team has taken third place at the championship meet. This year, the UNT swimmers are even more hopeful.

“I hope we get first,” Munro said. “I think we have a good shot at top two.”

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