PHOENIX, Arizona, April 16. ON today's edition of The Morning Swim Show we talk with two members of the Clemson swimming team, which ended its program last month.
Eric Bruck and Chris Dart represented Clemson at the NCAAs, and they talk about closing out Clemson's swimming legacy, how the team prepared for the end of the season, and the reaction they received at the conference championships. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Peter Busch: This is the Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, April 17th, 2012. I am your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS Monitor today, we talk to a pair of seniors on the Clemson University Swim Team. Sadly the program was just cut and joining us right now on the FINIS Monitor are Eric Bruck and Chris Dart in Clemson, South Carolina. Hey guys welcome to the Morning Swim Show how you doing?
Chris Dart: Pretty good, thanks.
Eric Bruck: Doing good.
Peter Busch: Hey guys we are so sorry about the loss of the program. So this was the last NCAAs, this was the last season tell us what you guys did as a team realizing that it was the end to kind of say goodbye?
Chris Dart: Well you know since it wasn't an immediate cut, we have had the last 2 years to kind of cope with it so I wouldn't say it was easy but it was definitely less painful this year. After the success we had last year I guess this year we just want to build on it and I think that is what we did, you know Eric improved his finish at NCAA's and it would have been nice if we had a relay there but you know I think we did pretty well with the number of guys that we had.
Peter Busch: Did you guys have like a ceremony or anything going away?
Eric Bruck: No.
Chris Dart: Not really.
Eric Bruck: No.
Peter Busch: So what was the last time everybody kind of got together? Was it after conference or did you guys do anything when you got back from NCAA's?
Chris Dart: I think it was the end of the conference. The last time we were all together as a team I think was the last session of ACC's when we were all you know kind of doing our end of the meet cheer and the entire swimming pool started chanting Clemson Tigers so that was– it was pretty special. It was a pretty special moment where you know it was the last time we were all together.
Peter Busch: Eric you were a finalist in the 50 free this year. It was a very exciting final race to be a part of, and what did that mean to you to put a bright cap on the end of you know what it had been kind of depressing last couple of years?
Erick Buck: It was just nice to be there at the meet and be competitive on the national level you know. It was really exciting.
Peter Busch: And Chris you went to the Olympic Trials for Great Britain is that right?
Chris Dart: Yeah, yeah that is right.
Peter Busch: And how did you do there?
Chris Dart: I got 9th in 100 back and 17th in 200 back. I missed top 8 in 100 back by 0.07 and I missed top 16 in the 200 back by I think it was 0.09 or 0.03 or something like that so I mean it was quite an experience to be there you know being the pool at Olympics going to be in and just wish I would have made it.
Peter Busch: Am I crazy or I don't detect an accent?
Chris Dart: Yeah, you know it is hidden way back in there. My parents have an accent like everyone thinks my dad sounds like the Geico Gecko.
Peter Busch: Well you both are seniors so you were able to finish out your career at Clemson. Not all the other guys on the team are going to be so lucky. Tell us what is happening right now, I mean the guys transferring immediately what is happening with the other guys.
Eric Bruck: I am actually a junior so I have got on more year.
Peter Busch: Oh I'm sorry Eric.
Eric Bruck: No problem, but as far as my plans go I am planning on still seeking out to swim another year so I am not really sure where I want to do that yet.
Peter Busch: You haven't even started looking around yet?
Eric Bruck: Talking to several different coaches right now. I am not sure exactly what my options are yet.
Peter Busch: I was going to say a 19 low 50 freestyler shouldn't have too much trouble finding a home.
Eric Bruck: I hope not.
Peter Busch: Well I know it is not the hassle that you want to go through especially after your junior year and I imagine some of the other guys are on the same boat right now trying to figure out where they are going to swim next?
Chris Dart: I think for the most part our team is done. I mean I think the only other person like the only person that is going to continue past this year is Eric. We are fortunate enough that we had a big senior class this year, so even with the cut this would have been their last year for the majority of the team anyway. As far as the remaining juniors I think we have two juniors and we have three sophomores and one freshman and you know they are all pretty content with ending their swimming careers how it did.
Peter Busch: Really? Interesting so what, tell me what happened? I mean they cut it for financial reasons but should they give you guys a chance to save the program and you couldn't come up with the money, or did you feel like you know that you did your part and they didn't live up to their end of the bargain? Kind of run us through what happened.
Chris Dart: Oh, okay. Well they gathered us all up in a room at the end of my sophomore season, and Eric's freshman season, and you know they kind of danced around it for about 20 minutes until I finally stood up and he said so you are cutting us and he said yeah we are cutting you. The reason for the cut at that initial meeting was explained to us that we couldn't compete on a national level and they didn't want to invest a 50-meter pool and all this money in a program that they didn't see able to compete on the national level. So you know we took that as motivation and the next year you know we finished top 25 in the country in all three polls. You know Eric was a finalist. So I am pretty sure we competed it on national level and then you know went back to them and said you know look at what we have done we are just a program growing you got to give us some time. And then they kind of went away from the reason that they initially told us the cut was for, and they just kind of ignored it. We had a group of parents that tried to raise the money and alumni and I am pretty sure we raised a good amount of money that the school actually rejected.
Peter Busch: So they were not being straight shooters from get-go on this.
Chris Dart: Not at all. I still don't know why we are cut.
Peter Busch: That is so pathetic that they ask your kids to come to the school to invest your own time and energy and sacrifice so much and at the end of the day can't even be honest with you guys when they have a tough decision to make.
Chris Dart: Absolutely and I would say that Eric is probably one of the best individual athletes at the school right now in terms of you know in their respected sports where they would finish and you know I just think it is sad that they don't realize that.
Peter Busch: Yeah, well it is sad too. They are supposed to be your role models at that time of your life how adult behavior is supposed to work and it sounds like they illustrated anything but.
Chris Dart: Absolutely.
Peter Busch: Well guys don't do it the way that they did it to you guys when you guys are all grown up and making your own tough decisions in the work place that would be my advice.
Chris Dart: Thank you very much.
Peter Busch: And guys I am sorry about the program being cut, it seems like you did have some good momentum going and Eric congrats again on the great swims this year, well congrats to both of you and best of luck going forward.
Chris Dart: Thank you very much.
Peter Busch: All right that is Chris Dart and Eric Bruck joining us in the FINIS Monitor today from Clemson and that is it for today's show I am Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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