Swim season concludes with a home senior night

Swim Senior Night for Gardner-Webb University. Red vs. Black race.

Gardner-Webb swimming celebrates its seniors with inter-squad meet

By Theo Drescher

On Friday, Feb. 4, the Gardner-Webb swim team celebrated its seniors with an inter-squad
swim meet at the Bost Pool on campus. Initially, the ‘Dawgs were slated to race Lenoir-Rhyne
on Jan. 15, but due to COVID concerns, the meet was canceled.

For the inter-squad meet, the team was divided into two teams, the Red Team and the Black
Team. The event lineup consisted of 10 events: a 50 and 100 of each stroke (butterfly,
backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle), as well as a 150 freestyle and 100 IM (individual
medley). Additionally, there were two relays, the 100 medley relay at the start of the meet and
the 100 freestyle at the end.

The night was full of energy and support as spectators and families filled the bleachers to come
support the seniors and their respective teams. Each side cheered and screamed as they
watched their teammates race. Each race was extremely close, with some races coming down
to the hundredths of a second. The meet was a constant tug-of-war between the two teams,
with the Red Team ahead by the first break, and then the Black Team barely ahead by eight
points after the second break.

In the end, the Black team prevailed, with a final score of 122.5 points to 118.5 points.
Afterward, the team gathered together with a senior-led team cheer to wrap up the night.
Before the meet started, the team held a procession to celebrate its seniors and all they have
accomplished in the past 4 years. The team decorated the pool, which was adorned with
posters signed by each team member, congratulating that senior, as well as balloons and
streamers in the locker rooms and sticky notes adorning the seniors’ lockers. As each senior
was announced, the other team members formed a tunnel that the seniors and their families ran
through. At the other end, they received flowers, a plaque containing their varsity letter, as well
as a hug from each of the coaches.

For the seniors, it was sentimental knowing it was their last meet at Bost pool. Reflecting on her
career, senior Ashley Cesario said there are too many favorite memories to choose from, but
she especially enjoyed, “Either random practices here and there, or Conference, [with] all the

Cesario enjoys inter-squad meets because she loves being together as a team and
all the memories that entail.

Cesario claims her story of how she got into swimming is “really weird,” as she initially played
basketball for most of her life, but eventually joined her summer swim team due to her
grandfather being a swimmer. “Eventually, it came down and I had to choose one or the other,”
Cesario said. ”I decided to stick with swimming, and so now, here we are, the last couple of

Cesario said that what she misses most will be the community and the coaches, as well
as having a second family in the team.

Drew Mintz, senior, cherishes the bond he has made with all his teammates the most. “I loved going to Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Florida State for duel meets because there wasn’t any pressure to win. We just went there to race and we always swam really fast,” Mintz said. “I am most thankful for the guys on the team who are with me through all of the ups and downs. There were a couple really rough weeks where they were the only thing keeping me going. I will forever cherish the memories that we made both from swim and out of the pool.”

The Gardner-Webb swim team will conclude its season next week at the CCSA Conference Championships on Wednesday, Feb.16 through Saturday, Feb. 19.

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