Young University of Northern Colorado Club Swim Team Grows into a Family

Photo Courtesy: Christina Riddo

By Joe Buchanan, Swimming World College Intern.

The sounds of splashing and cheering echoed through the pool of Colorado State University as schools from across the country cheered on their swimmers in each event. It was the final swim meet of the fall semester for the University of Northern Colorado’s club swim team which took home third place overall.

This meet came a day after the University of Northern Colorado club team’s third birthday. The team was established on Nov. 11, 2013.

“Our team instantaneously clicked,’ said Christina Riddo, a senior and elementary education major, who was one of the founders of the team.

Riddo, the current president of the club, led the team to meets across Colorado and across the country since it was founded. This semester, the team competed in meets at University of Colorado- Boulder, Colorado State University, The University of Utah, and the University of Northern Colorado. Most of these events were sponsored by the U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) organization, meaning that any member of USMS are welcome to compete.

Since 2013, the team has grown to become the largest club team at UNC with 48 members. With this large base, the team regularly leads in participation within the club sports program. The team won awards in 2015 for both participation within the club sports program, as well as for community service.

The club team consists of athletes of a range of skill levels and is open to anyone who wants to participate. Most of the athletes on the team swam competitively in high school.

The team holds practices every day in the University of Northern Colorado’s 25-yard short course pool. Practices usually focus on improving kicking, swimming form, as well as starts. Athletes are encouraged to work on specific strokes outside of practices during the pool’s open swim hours.

Each practice is led by either the head coach of the team, former Colorado State University Division I swimmer, Marilyn Johnson, or the assistant coach, former Colorado School of Mines Division II swimmer, Haley Johnson.

The team aims to be a welcoming environment for everyone who likes to swim or is interested in getting involved in the sport.

“This team feels much more like a family,” said Rachel Lynch, a junior environmental studies major and the treasurer for the team.

Athletes on the team are expected to participate both in and out of the water. The club team has a requirement for athletes to attend at least three practices a week. Along with this, the team has mandatory community service events including timing UNC’s Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving home meets.

Fourteen members of the team finished the group’s fourth season at the USMS Collegiate Club Swimming & Diving National Championships, held in Atlanta, GA. This active, dynamic group is still growing as it provides a welcomed community for students at the University of Northern Colorado.

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Ian Sharkey
7 years ago

wow so writing
much info

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