By Eileen Flynn ’20
Throughout the season, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams have battled hard against Bryant University, Iona College, Fairfield University, Brown University, and Villanova University. Despite coming up short at the start of the season, the team proved their strength and potential during the Harold Anderson Invitational.
A definite highlight of the season for the Friars, the invitational gathered teams together in Kingston, Rhode Island on Nov. 16-18 at the University of Rhode Island. Facing rivals like Bryant, University of Maine, and URI, the team had to show up each day with the desire to win. After a full weekend of close races, the women finished in third place, ahead of the College of the Holy Cross, Bryant, and the University of Maine. The men impressively placed first in the invitational and worked together to beat the pool of teams that the women also out-raced.
This momentum helped fuel the team’s energy for their senior meet this past Saturday, January 19. The men and women on the PC Swimming and Diving team gathered together in the Taylor Natatorium for their last home meet of the season. Despite the brisk weather outside, the intensity and praise for the seniors made for a fun atmosphere to compete in. The Holy Cross Crusaders traveled from Worcester to face a relentless group of Friars coming off of a tough schedule this season.
Lauren Zawacki ’21 finished first in the 50-meter freestyle, while her two teammates, Jennifer Bankes ’22 and Kathryn Presley ’22, placed on top in the 400-meter freestyle and the 100 meter breaststroke, respectively. Despite their efforts, the women’s team fell to Holy Cross in a close score of 136 to 161.
On the men’s side, Ryan Trammell ’19 decided he was going to make the most of his last time competing at PC. Although already holding the program record, Trammell improved his time in the 100-meter breaststroke to a quick 1:06.22. “It was really special to be able to improve my record one final time. It’s great to know I finished off with my best and gave it everything I could.” Justin Viotto ’22 followed Trammell’s lead by improving upon the program record he already held as well in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:07.03.
When asked more about his experience on Saturday, Trammell explained how grateful he is for his teammates and how he will miss competing with them next year. “I really love this team and the support I have received over my four years has been awesome.” With the help of his teammates, the men’s team was able to clinch a win over Holy Cross, a special memory for his last meet on campus. “Getting to race in front of a home crowd, cheering on my teammates, and watching the team do well is what makes all the hours of practice and pain worth it,” said Trammell.
Trammell, along with his teammates is looking forward to his final Big East Championship appearance on Feb. 20. “I have a few individual rivals on each of the other teams so obviously I’m looking to beat out those guys for the top of the podium.” Competition aside, Trammell is quick to say he will cherish his last couple of meets, enjoying the moment and swimming alongside his teammates.