Lindsay Atkin, a senior at Lenoir-Rhyne University, is an active member of the L-R Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She will be blogging on thesac.com about her time spent helping enhance the student-athlete experience on campus, and as a member of the Bears' swimming team.
March 23, 2012 -- The Evolution of a Team
Being a senior on a sports team gives you a unique point of view. If you are like me, then you have been on the same team for the past four years and you have seen many changes along the way. At the end of the final season it is interesting to reflect on how far your team has come from where you first started four years ago. From my perspective, I have had the opportunity to be on a brand new team for my school, Lenoir-Rhyne University. When I began my freshman year on the LRU women's swim team it was only the team's second season. I was proud to be a part of something new and exciting. I was looking forward to being a part of a team that I would help change and shape for future swimmers and teammates.
Throughout my time on the swim team I have seen our program grow in several ways. Our team number has grown as we have added a men's team to our program which helped to improve the talent pool that surrounds the program. My first swim conference freshman year, the team had its first few A finalist and by my last swim conference this year, just about everyone was making it back to A and B finals. Also during this season we were winning regular season meets more often, and on our senior day swim meet our women's team finally beat Catawba College, our friendly rivals, by one point. At conference this year our women's team placed seventh, our second time placing in the top ten, only this time we also beat Catawba College and Pfeiffer University in the process. At the conclusion of my senior conference meet our team, men and women, garnished our first three All- Conference swimmers ever. Just in the year before we were only getting close to that honor. As the same with D II National time cuts. Last season, we only had a couple of swimmers to get close to the B time cuts, and in my final season we had six swimmers actually make the B time cut. One of which was actually well enough to be invited to the D II National Swim meet!
To be able to witness all of the above in only a matter of four seasons is an amazing feeling. Knowing that I will forever be a part of a young team that is capable of such tremendous accomplishments in only five seasons is reason enough for why I will always hold my head up. If there ever is an opportunity for an athlete to be a part of something new and ground breaking, I say go for it because you might be exactly what that team needs to really get that program off the ground. There is a unique satisfaction that comes along with knowing you helped to make a positive difference on something, somewhere. To be lucky enough to witness it makes it that much sweeter.
- Lindsay Atkin