By Madison Ayres
Varsity swimming returned to Lynchburg this year after a hiatus dating back to the 1970-71 academic year.
After exceeding their own expectations this season, the program’s 28 men and women have a lot to celebrate and much to look forward to, according to head coach Brad Dunn.
By next spring, the program hopes to double its size with the next recruiting class.
“My expectation was that we set the foundation culturally for a successful team,” Dunn said.
In addition to a strong showing by the program as a whole, several individual athletes had outstanding performances at the recent ODAC Championships in Greensboro, NC. The meet was held Feb. 6 through Feb. 9.
In a season of firsts, Dunn said he told his swimmers to “make sure that you really relish these moments because you only get four ODAC Championships, you only get four years of getting to do this.”
Dunn described the team culture as being that of a “close-knit family,” a sentiment echoed by members of the team.
“We definitely have a family atmosphere on our team,” said freshman Claire Galloway, who qualified for the NCAA B-Cut for the 100-yard breaststroke while competing at the ODAC Championships.
Freshman Parker Hayungs was named ODAC men’s rookie of the meet.
“I felt like everyone on my team worked just as hard as I did to get to where we placed and where we were at,” Hayungs said.
Reflecting on the season, sophomore Chris Jennings said he wanted to be a “vocal leader” for his teammates.
“Some days, when they didn’t have it, I knew that I needed to pick them up,” Jennings said. “If there were days where I didn’t really have it, I knew that they would have my back.”